How to find affordable medical cover
It is interesting to note how most people change their entire set of values and priorities when disease strikes a member of the family or when a serious accident occurs.
Suddenly nothing matters more than the very best medical treatment. Sadly, those that do not enjoy medical cover will have to resort to the public health system where, due to the many constraints inherent to the system, patients may not necessarily receive prompt attention and patients and their loved ones are not able to decide upon the facility where treatment is offered or even upon the medical expert dealing with the case.
It is vital to accept personal responsibility for medical expenses and to do everything possible to ensure that the family is adequately covered. It is true that comprehensive cover can be expensive but the cost of cover should be compared with the peace of mind knowing that the very best care is available when it is most needed.
Factors to consider when evaluating medical schemes
There is a myriad of plans available from a host of medical scheme service providers. Consumers can be forgiven if they are bewildered and if they find it difficult to choose between the various options. The following pointers may help:
- Bigger is not always better. Many plans offer extensive cover for procedures and treatments that may not be needed. It is highly recommended that an assessment of the probable medical needs of each member of the family is conducted. By foregoing certain benefits it may be possible to subscribe to a plan that will make provision for the most likely medical expenses. Of course, circumstances change and it is therefore vital to re-evaluate the cover from time to time.
- Many medical scheme plans include a savings account. In some cases the funds in this account is carried over if it is not used in a specific year. Other schemes do not carry unused funds to the next year. It is important to ask the scheme to explain how unused benefits are managed. Benefits that are carried over can also lead to substantial savings in the long run.
- It is often better to use a medical broker. These professionals are well versed in the terms and conditions of the various plans. They can offer invaluable advice regarding the various options that will best serve the needs of a specific family. They also often act as intermediary between the medical scheme and the client, saving the client time and trouble.
- It is best to select a plan that can be upgraded or downgraded as circumstances change. A rigid plan may necessitate an entirely new plan when circumstances demand it.
- There are excellent websites that allow consumers to obtain quotations from different service providers. The quotations are based upon information provided by the consumer and the results are relatively easy to compare.
- It is important to consider only those plans offered by reputable service providers such as Sanlam, Discovery Health and Old Mutual. These companies often offer better service and they have the financial wherewithal to honour claims promptly.
There can be no doubt that membership with a reputable medical scheme should be one of the highest priorities of any family. Access to quality medical treatment is far more important than almost any other item on the budget of the average family.