Why You Are Never Too Young for Medical Aid
October 8, 2013
Young people that enter their first jobs are normally excited. And all they think about is how they are going to enjoy their new found economic freedom. Unfortunately, vital decisions such as investing in pension plans, savings systems and, most importantly, medical aid is often at the bottom of the list. That is, if these matters are even on the list! Generally, people in their twenties think they are too young for medical aid.
According to Andrew Edwards, Liberty Medical Scheme’s Executive Principal Officer, the very best plan is to join a medical scheme when it is most unlikely that it will be needed. This may sound illogical. However, building up a history with the medical scheme is important. It will be of immense benefit to the member when it becomes necessary to claim.
TOO YOUNG FOR MEDICAL AID – JOIN BEFORE YOU ARE 35
If you join a medical aid fund after the age of thirty five you will pay more. If you join later in life, you have another distinct disadvantage: most medical aid funds will not provide cover for re-existing conditions. The fact is simple. The younger you are the cheaper it is. And the less the chance is for having a pre-existing condition.
Edwards reiterated that it is vital for young people to choose a medical aid plan that will make provision for their current needs. You can always upgrade such plans at a later stage. He advised younger people to choose a package to cover occasional visits to a GP and various preventive care procedures. The younger a member of a medical scheme is the more likely it is that serious conditions will be diagnosed in time. This will save members money in the long term.
TOO YOUNG FOR MEDICAL AID – DIAGNOSTICS AND CHRONIC CONDITIONS
Also young people should consider that a plan makes provision for a wide variety of diagnostic tests. These include diabetes, heart disease and various cancers. Vaccinations are also important.
Edwards also pointed out that timely screening for chronic conditions such as cholesterol and diabetes can save lives, prolong lives and save a lot of trouble and money in the long term. The earlier the diagnosis the sooner treatment and management can start successfully. In many plans such preventive screenings are part of the plan. Therefore the member does not have to use the medical savings plan. This benefit alone should be a major reason for joining a medical scheme at a young age.
TOO YOUNG FOR MEDICAL AID – STERN WARNING TO THE HEALTHY
Edwards also issued a stern warning: young people that consider themselves healthy and active make a very big mistake if they think that they are saving money by foregoing membership of medical schemes. Anything can happen and once catastrophe strikes it can easily be too late to join a medical aid plan. There are numerous examples of young people, as early as their teens or their early twenties that develop dread diseases or other chronic conditions.
Those that are not covered by comprehensive medical care plans will have no option other than to depend upon the public health system. Regret when it is too late is a common occurrence amongst young people.
It is not only the potential of dread disease that should motivate young people to join medical schemes Statistics show that a high percentage of younger people are involved in accidents that result in expensive medical needs. Emergency operations, intensive care treatment and the cost of specialist and rehabilitation can be prohibitive.
TOO YOUNG FOR MEDICAL AID – HOSPITAL PLANS V COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL AID
Edwards said that younger people need to think very carefully about the differences between hospital plans and comprehensive cover. At the very least you should have a hospital plan as soon as you are earning an income. This will make provision for the extremely high cost of hospitalization. Most medical schemes allow upgrades at a later stage, such as when the family is expanded or when the needs and income of the member change.
Liberty Life offers a wide variety of plans that are designed to meet the needs of just about everybody. It is important to understand that your health is ultimately your biggest and most valuable asset. When disease strikes or when disaster occur, everyone wants the best possible care. This is only possible for members of medical aid schemes. Young people should be realistic and they should understand that they are not immune to disaster, accidents and dread diseases.
* Here is a list of medical aids in South Africa
All info was correct at time of publishing