Medical Schemes Compared
Most ordinary people become baffled when they have to make a decision about their health cover. Medical schemes compared alongside each other often do not supply clear and concise information that can be used to make an informed decision. The language used in quotations is often extremely technical and there are many exceptions, additional conditions and terms that are difficult to understand. Yet the cost of medical cover and the importance of proper health care in cases of illness or mishaps demand a thorough medical aid comparison. After all, the decision may end up to be a life and death decision.
How do you compare different medical schemes?
Considering the vital importance of proper health care it is no wonder that so many people are not entirely sure that they have made the right decision when they chose a specific medical scheme. Here are some pointers that may help.
- It is very important to compare apples with apples. Most schemes are more than willing to provide written quotations based upon basic information obtained from the client. These quotations are difficult to compare, however, because the various medical aid schemes use different formats and they emphasize different aspects of the cover they offer. It may be helpful to stipulate the exact cover required and to then ask the various schemes to provide a quote in the format stipulated
- There are a number of excellent websites that will obtain quotes very quickly. These quotes are also presented in a standard format, making comparison much easier. A simple search string such as “compare medical aids” will result in a list of many such useful sites.
- Medical aid quotes from each company under consideration should clearly state that they are compliant with the prescribed minimum benefits as required by law. Consumers should never feel embarrassed to negotiate or to ask for clarification. There is nothing wrong in pointing out to a service provider that a competitor offers certain attractive terms or benefits and to enquire whether they can be met.
- It may prove useful to ask advice from trusted colleagues, family or friends in similar circumstances. They may be able to give valuable information regarding disappointments experienced or factors that formed part of their decisions when they decided upon a specific medical aid. Personal experiences of others are often the most valuable tools when an important decision must be made.
Important facts to remember:
- Medical aid schemes are strictly controlled and they are generally run by competent and responsible professionals. The specific scheme chosen is up to the consumer, and the consumer must take responsibility for conducting proper research and for gathering vital information before making a decision.
- In general, the main differences centres around the type of cover offered, the amounts that will be paid for certain treatments and medicines and the frequency with which various medical practitioners can be consulted. Consumers must therefore be realistic regarding their own needs and circumstances.
- Most schemes have some form of incentive program. It is therefore not a good idea to change schemes often. A long term relationship with a company almost always benefits the consumer in the long run.
Read this article entitled Top 10 Facts About Medical Aids in South Africa