Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Medical Aid
Taking care of the precious health of you and your family has never been more important. Here are the ten top reasons why South Africans should make belonging to a sound medical aid a top priority.
- About 44 million South Africans rely on the public health system, which is hard-pressed to cope with this enormous burden. There are simply not enough properly functioning hospitals, clinics, primary health care centres in existence for the number of people who rely on the state health system. The public health sector faces infrastructure collapse, inadequate equipment, supplies and medication. Also, there are insufficient health care workers available in the state sector for this number of dependents. Do you want to deliver your family into this kind of health environment unless you absolutely have to?
- While the government plans to introduce National Health Insurance (NHI) – which will make paying for state health insurance mandatory for all salary earners, and everyone will have access to free health care – this will take years to implement.
- No matter how much money the state accumulates via NHI and throws at the problem, it is hard to see where all the facilities, equipment, supplies, medicines and qualified staff will come from in order to offer good health care to about 50 million people, most of them who are malnourished and otherwise unwell. It is unlikely that the existence of NHI will suddenly make excellent health care available to all, so do not rely on it.
- The sooner you join a medical scheme the better you will be able to afford your monthly medical aid payments into the future. There is a late joining penalty which comes in the form of higher monthly premiums.
- In terms of the Medical Schemes Act, every medical aid scheme is obliged to cover all aspects of nearly 300 conditions, including 27 chronic conditions. This makes these schemes extremely strong as very few illnesses and injuries fall outside these constraints. Nevertheless you should make certain that your particular health plan covers what you think it should cover. Ask your broker or medical scheme advisor questions until you understand thoroughly the ins and outs of your scheme.
- While you may have hospital cover, this might prove totally inadequate if you require intensive medical care such as heart surgery or cancer treatment. When you are ill or injured, that last thing you need is to be faced with massive, unexpected medical bills. Make sure your medical aid is as comprehensive as you can afford.
- We live in a violent society and the roads are dangerous. You and your dependents are more likely than ever before to experience injury as a result of assault, rape or a vehicle accident.
- South Africans are more likely than ever to have strokes, heart attacks or contract cancer. Fortunately our medical aids are obliged to cover all the costs (with certain limited exceptions) for the treatment of these in full.
- The Council for Medical Schemes, which was created in accordance with the Medical Schemes Act, is an excellent body that continually strives to improve health care via the schemes. It is also a watchdog body that can help in the case of a dispute. As a result our health schemes are well-respected and sound.
- All medical schemes must hold 25% of all member contributions to ensure that they remain healthy and solvent. Most of them manage to achieve this figure, offering peace of mind to members that their medical scheme will be there for them when they need it most.