South Africans to Fork out up to 14% more for Medical Aid in 2017
March 3, 2017
South Africa’s private medical care system is one of the most expensive in the world. This according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Here we will look at medical aid 2017 in South Africa.
Just as an example, for coronary bypass surgery at a Netcare hospital, you’re looking at forking up something like R350 a minute for theatre costs. The tariff for a day in intensive care is in the region of R25 000.
Discovery, South Africa’s biggest medical aid, said private hospital costs are in line with international standards. WHO simply said that private health care in the country was unaffordable for most South Africans.
Get Health Care Out of Hospital – Medical Aid 2017
There are many members of medical aids who abuse the whole system – they use doctors when they didn’t need to, and schemes are having to raise costs because of this. In fact one CEO, Dr Brian Ruff says reorganising the health care system the way it currently is could ease the burden on consumers.
Many Reasons to Shoot Up Premiums
According to an Alexander Forbes’ health publication, fee increases for all open medical schemes have never been as high. Medical aids were being forced to trim benefits and increase their premiums.
The rate at which younger members are replacing older members has slowed, and this is also adding to fee pressure.
The medical aids normally announce the price in increases for the new year in about September, and at the end of 2016, both Momentum and Discovery Medical Schemes announced average increases in contributions of between 10.2% and 11%.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme, in fact, announced hikes ranging from 7.8% to 14.9% on its various options. The is by the number of members belonging to certain options. The highest increase of 14.9% was for their Coastal Core option.
Momentum Health is also one of the biggest open schemes in South Africa, and the 11% average increase ranging from 8.9% to 15% is also a huge average across its five options.
Medical inflation is at an all-time high. And the reasons could be attributed to the cost of having to import certain medical equipment, not to mention the rising costs of this equipment as well as medications. Other reasons are because more people than ever are checking into a hospital which simply goes to increase medical inflation. Medical aid schemes also lose millions of Rands in fraudulent transactions.
Most medical schemes are also seeing a spike of claims coming in.
Many South Africans simply can’t cope with the rising medical scheme costs. More so because salary increases are a thing of past for many.
An Increase in Lifestyle Diseases – Medical Aid 2017
Medical schemes, in general, are seeing an increase in people with diseases such as diabetes and cancer. And every year, members use more of the benefits available to them. And this increases health care costs for the scheme.
Schemes are finding that they can’t fund the increased expenses from the increase in lifestyle diseases and they simply have to increase contributions to carry the costs.
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All info was correct at time of publishing