Alleged misleading advertising by MASM

The Commission imposed a fine of MK5million to Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) for engaging in deceptive advertising. The Commission also ordered MASM to cease and desist from engaging in misleading advertising and to make full and timely disclosures to their consumers whenever there are changes to the terms and conditions governing medical insurance.

This followed investigations which the Commission conducted on allegations that MASM published radio and newspaper advertisements stating that they had scrapped off shortfalls on medical bills to its members. However, the Commission did not find any evidence to support claims that shortfalls had been scrapped off. The Commission found that, contrary to the claims in the adverts, a number of private hospitals were demanding payment of shortfalls by MASM members on every visit.

The Commission found this conduct deceptive and a deliberate ploy intended to create an impression that the medical cover was free of additional charges contrary to section 43 (1) (d) of the CFTA. Further, the Commission found that MASM did not make full disclosures on the introduction of wallets for the different services offered and its implications on members’ welfare.