Bankmed is Health Bankers Can Bank On
Bankmed started in 1914 and it is a restricted medical scheme. Bankmed currently has in the region of 200,000 members and beneficiaries. Like many medical schemes, Bankmed has reward schemes to encourage its members to look after their personal health.
How medical schemes work
At the beginning of 2015 there were eighty-six medical schemes operating in South Africa. Twenty-three “open” schemes and sixty-three “restricted” or “closed” schemes as they are sometime referred as. Bankmed is an example of a closed scheme, whereas Discovery medical aid is an open scheme.
The purpose of medical aids like Bankmed is to cover your medical expenses. You can select to have these covered on a day to day basis. This means that the medical scheme selected covers you for any visits to your doctor and prescriptions, as well as any hospital expenses that may arise. Alternatively, you may select a more affordable medical aid plan. The benefits of the cheaper medical aid will be less than those of a fully comprehensive scheme.
Not a hospital plan
A medical aid scheme such as Bankmed is NOT a hospital plan. A hospital plan is for people who are in good health and who do not need chronic medicines or day to day cover for a chronic illness. A basic hospital plan will cover in-hospital expenses,for instance any surgery and medication required over the period of your stay. A hospital plan will not cover you for visits to your GP or prescriptions.
You, your employer or a combination of both will make monthly contributions to the fund. Other members of the fund will also make monthly contributions. This money goes into a central fund. The money covers the running of the scheme and to cover any claims made by its members or beneficiaries.
To ensure that medical funds are able to meet their obligations, they are regulated by the Council for medical aid schemes. All medical schemes including the Bankmed medical scheme are accountable to the Council for medical aid schemes. If you have a dispute with your medical aid fund and are unable to resolve it between yourselves, then contact the CMS to help resolve the problem.
What is a closed medical scheme?
A closed medical scheme like Bankmed, Pick n Pay medical aid or the SAB medical aid are exclusively for the companies’ or industries’ employees. Therefore, if you happen to work for Pick n Pay or SAB, membership of their medical scheme will likely form part of your employment package. If you are not employed by a company or organisation with its own medical scheme then you will need to join an open scheme like the Hosmed medical aid scheme. Everyone has a right to join an open scheme. Only employees or those for whom a particular scheme has been set up may join a closed scheme.
Who Bankmed serves
Bankmed is the closed medical scheme available to employees in the banking sector. Unlike the closed schemes like the LA health medical scheme and Malcor medical aid scheme, it is not aimed at employees of one particular organisation. Instead all employees of the whole banking sector may join the Bankmed scheme. It is for this reason that there are no closed medical schemes for any particular banking group.