Why Is It So Important to Compare Medical Aid Plans?
Why is it so important to take out the right health cover plan?
- It’s no good choosing a plan that is beyond your budget’s means. Choose right because medical aid premiums take a huge amount out of your monthly income
- You want to make sure you’re not funding stuff on your medical aid you actually never use
- Talk to a medical scheme consultant about traditional benefits or new generation benefits
- Traditional benefits give you a set amount for each benefit whereas new generation plans make use of the likes of savings accounts
- Imagine if you have a pre-existing health problem and you sign up with a medical aid only to discover they don’t cater for your specific health problem
- Check out those ‘useless’ rewards schemes and additional benefits that will mean absolutely nothing to you when you’re fighting disease. You don’t want to be paying a higher premium for gym membership you never use.
Get a Health Cover Plan
If you can, you should aim to have a health cover plan. At least you have the peace of mind knowing your medical needs will be attended to efficiently in the best medical care facilities. Some people are lucky enough to have an employer who provides for- and pays half of your medical aid.
South Africa has open and closed schemes, with any person being able to join the open schemes. The closed schemes are those that are restricted to certain employer groups.
Once you belong to a medical scheme you still need to make sure to evaluate your changing situation each year so that you can adapt the plan to your changing needs.
Most medical schemes of South Africa offer a full comprehensive option or a basic hospital plan.
Answer Questions about your Health and your Budget
Some schemes limit you to a certain doctor or hospital, but this will depend on the option you choose. The more limited the option you choose, the less your monthly contribution will be, but make sure you investigate all options.
If you’re on a tight budget, a hospital plan might be a wise choice, but you will need to cover day-to-day costs for GP visits and medicines.
You need to know the differences because some plans allow you to use your own doctors or hospitals while other limit your choices and require you to use doctors from their network facility.
Medical schemes vary in terms of coverage, cost as well as other features, so it’s important to choose your plan with your individual needs in mind.
You’ve got to look at whether a hospital plan might suit you best. When choosing a health cover plan, ask yourself some basic questions –
- How much can you afford on premiums each month?
- What is my health like?
- Can you cope with day to day medical expenses?
- Are there co-payments to make before treatment begins?
- What amount of fund tariff will the plan be paying – 100-, 200 or 300%?
Give careful thought to the many different medical aid schemes there are before you sign a contract. An unresearched plan can cause real problems. Signing up with a medical scheme because everyone you know belongs to it can mean you having the wrong cover and being tied to it for a certain length of time.
Research and take the cover that suits you best.