Basic Hospital Plan
A basic hospital plan is the affordable option for medical aid members who are in good health and don’t need full day-to-day cover or chronic care cover. A basic plan will cover in-hospital expenses such as surgery and in-hospital medication, but it’s worth knowing what it will not cover before you make your decision.
Some plans will cover dentistry however most do not. Therefore, if you have children who might need regular consultations with the dentist, you’re going to need to have a good deal of savings available to be able to pay the bills out of your own pocket. The same goes for specialist and general practitioner visits.
If your decision to take out a hospital plan is based solely on saving cash, before you sign on the dotted line think carefully about just how much money you might need to pay out of your own funds in the event of a medical emergency.
In addition, it’s not just about emergencies either, but what about doctors’ consultations or visiting an optometrist?
When you look at what a basic hospital plan doesn’t cover, think about plans that require members to use certain doctors, specialists and hospitals within their network. Also, bear in mind that, if you want to get health care outside of that network, the scheme won’t pay a cent towards the medical bill.
What is your position right now? Are you young, healthy and newly married, for example, but planning a family? A basic hospital plan might only cover you for the delivery of your baby since that forms part of a hospital stay. Costs such as the GP and gynaecology visits as well as the scans will have to be paid for out of your own pocket.
If you’re thinking of starting a family, rather go for comprehensive cover that will include your spouse and offspring and offer peace of mind with regard to medical expenses. It might be a costly option, but the benefits outweigh the costs.
If you suffer from a chronic condition and require medication and treatment, you’ll also need to think a little better than just a hospital plan. Whether it’s you or a partner or child, if your family incurs high daily medical expenses, a basic plan is going to leave you desperately out of pocket long-term.
The Medical Scheme
A hospital plan will offer cover for your medical bills accumulated during a hospital visit. The percentage your medical aid will cover will depend on the hospital plan and scheme.
The main deciding factor when looking at healthcare plans is affordability, of course, and then your and your family’s healthcare requirements. However, age plays a factor too. Sit down with the family and work out your average day-to-day medical costs over a year so that you can see exactly for which expenses you’ll be responsible when taking out a hospital plan.
You might just realise that, even though you’ll be saving money on monthly premiums, your day-to-day expenses will become burdensome.
Essentially, the medical cover you choose is a personal decision. Just ensure that you do your research and understand exactly what will and what won’t be covered in your chosen plan.