Is It Safe To Have Hospital Cover Only?
There are plenty of Medical Aid Schemes operating in South Africa. Each one has a different type of plan. Within each Medical Aid, there is normally a particular option which will suit a member’s budget and personal circumstances. The option that cost the least each month is the one that offers Hospital Cover only.
Hospital cover only can be attractive to two types of members:
- Young, usually healthy people who do not foresee any big medical expenses in their close future
- People working with a tight budget who at least feel they have some cover.
However trying to see into the future and minimally budget is like having a fortune teller reminds you to buy a cheap part for an upcoming car repair!
What does a Hospital Plan cover?
- Most of the costs associated with a hospital visit. However, it must be borne in mind that often Medical Aid tariffs will pay up to 100 % of their tariffs for a hospital stay. If you go to the hospital without approval in an NSP there may be significant additional costs for the member.
- Usually, doctor and specialists cost are covered at the medical aid rates of the hospital. A basic Hospital Plan will not cover these inflated costs.
- Some Hospital plans cover a few out of hospital benefits which are minimal. Day to day visits, Physiotherapy, medication, etc. once you get out of the hospital will not have coverage.
What are the Drawbacks of a Hospital Plan Only?
- Hospital Plans do not cover any out of a hospital, day to day visits. That leaves the member to fund themselves doctors Fees, medication, blood testing, etc.
- There is no provision for preventative checks and benefits. Often the member who is part of an Only Hospital Plan will ignore symptoms till it is too late and do not want to pay the additional cost of cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels checks. So that can result in a late diagnosis of conditions and the problems which become associated with this.
Often for a small amount extra on the monthly premium a member can choose a medical aid option which covers these preventative measures as well as other out of hospital day to day benefits.
It is difficult to provide a direct answer to the question of whether it is safe to have Hospital cover only but there are definite risks with paying a lower premium and calculated chances to be considered.