All Medical Aids are Not Born Equal
There are 86 medical aid funds currently available in South Africa. All medical aids have different policies and benefits available depending on your needs and your budget. Some medical aid funds cater to the needs of a specific group of people. Other medical aid funds are aim to meet the needs of the wider population. It should be noted that medical aid funds are not the same as insurance companies in South Africa. Some insurance companies do offer medical aid schemes, but in general they specifically offer medical insurance.
Are all medical aids the same?
The simple answer to this question is “no” not all medical aids are the same.Some medical aids specifically seek to provide affordable medical aid. Others like Bestmed, Bonitas medical aid and Momentum Health are larger schemes and provide both the affordable and the more expensive comprehensive benefit packages.
All medical aids fall under the supervision of the Council for Medical Schemes . This is a statutory body set up to regulate all medical aids in South Africa. Their purpose is to make sure that all medical aids are meeting the needs of their beneficiaries. They also make recommendations to the Minster for Health for any changes that they believe may be necessary. Most important of all, they ensure that the finances of all medical aids are sound and that they can meet all their financial obligations.
Difference between open and closed medical aids
There are two different types of medical aid schemes available in South Africa. “Open Schemes” are medical aid schemes which are open to everybody to become a member. Such schemes include Momentum medical aid and Liberty medical aid to name but two. “Closed Schemes”are schemes generally set up and run by companies for the purpose of use by their employees. An example of a closed scheme is GEMS medical aid.This is the scheme for use by government employees. Irrespective of whether a scheme is open or closed, all medical aids fall under the Council for Medical Schemes.
Compare quotes before you sign up
Of all medical aids, Discovery medical aid is considered to be the largest and most popular scheme available. This does not mean that it is the best of all medical aids in operation for use by you. Before joining a scheme it pays to shop around. Visit the websites of all medical aids that are open to you to join. Carry out a medical aid comparison and see which packages meet your own personal needs.
The best medical aid package for you could turn out to be the cheapest medical aid package. It really does depend on your circumstances and needs. You should think about your age and your current health. If you are in need of chronic medicine you should ensure the package fully covers such chronic medicine. If you have a history of a particular illness in your family, then it is sensible to select a scheme that covers such an illness.