Medical Aid Benefits for Retired Seniors
Once you hit 60 you’re entitled to a few benefits such as being able to enjoy movies at reduced rates and shop for less at a supermarket. But what about medical aid benefits for retired seniors? If you’ve been working all your life and have been a member of your company’s medical aid, you may not like to know that your employer may no longer be subsidising your monthly medical aid contributions. Now that you’re retired, you may have to bear the cost of the medical aid premiums on your own.
Medical Aid Benefits – Being a Senior Doesn’t Mean Better Rates
In South Africa there is no medical aid plan that offers you better rates just because you’re a senior citizen. The benefits you find with a medical aid don’t change just because you’re considered a senior. It is dependent on the level of cover you have in terms of the plan you opt for. If you haven’t been part of a medical aid, you may even have to pay a late joiner fee to add to your regular monthly medical aid contributions.
These late joiner fees are to protect medical aid providers from people who only join when they need the services of a medical aid. These penalties are then added on to the monthly medical aid contributions.
Medical Aid Benefits – Late Joiner Fees Get Higher the Longer You Wait
Late joiner penalty fees have been brought about to encourage people to join medical schemes as soon as possible. As it is, after the age of 35 you get penalised in what is known as age bands for the amount of years you haven’t been on a medical scheme. This can be quite terrible when you think that if you are just 1 to 4 years over the age when you join, you’ll have to pay a late joiner fee of 5%, whereas for 25 years or more beyond 35 you are looking at as much as 75% penalty fees.
Senior citizens may well have to think of other options if they can’t afford to stay on their own medical aid. The truth is that many senior citizens are more in need of a medical aid than ever, whether a comprehensive medical aid or a hospital cash back plan.
Medical Aid Benefits – Seniors have Waiting Periods Like Everyone Else
Medical aids can’t refuse membership based on age, but seniors might have to bear heavier costs and endure waiting periods too. Hospital cash back plans on the other hand may refuse membership. In fact most hospital cash back plans don’t even consider you if you’re over the age of 65 years.
Unlike a medical aid that can’t refuse you membership, hospital cash back plans are insurance policies. Insurance companies take on bigger risks with seniors and they don’t cove. Even if they did, the premiums are so expensive as to make it not feasible to have the cover in the first place.
Your senior years are the one time in your life when you need medical aid. There is no special medical aid for seniors and every medical aid accepts seniors, but with that late joiner fee if you’re only joining in your senior years.
Medical Aid Benefits – Every Senior should Ideally have a Full Medical Aid
The bottom line is that age doesn’t have any influence on benefits you receive. If you have comprehensive medical aid then you will benefit from excellent cover, and if you choose the hospital plan then you will only benefit from in-hospital care and pay for your out-of-hospital costs from your own pocket.
If you want to join a comprehensive medical aid plan in your senior years, you can count yourself as fortunate to have such a plan. After the 3 months general waiting period and the 12 month pre-existing condition wait, you’ll be able to benefit from everything that a full medical aid offers.
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