How to choose the medical aid scheme you want.
December 21, 2012
Now that you’ve made the decision to get medical cover, how do you choose a medical aid scheme? There are over 100 different options in the country, where do you start?.
To choose a Medical aid scheme – Analyse your finances
The first step is to look at your health and financial situation. Use this data to help make an informed choice. If you have money you can afford full medical cover. This option gives you all-round peace of mind.
Full cover – preferred by the elderly or those who make regular visits to a hospital or doctor. And it’s vital if you suffer from a chronic condition.
However, this type of cover is expensive and therefore out of reach for many of us. An alternative choice is to have a hospital plan. With this plan you are responsible for your daily medical costs.
If you are in good health and don’t visit the doctor that often, it works out a lot cheaper. This option is a favourite of younger, healthier people.
To choose a Medical aid scheme – Compare options
Once you’ve decided which type of cover you want, compare different firms and the benefits that they offer. Ensure that the PMB’s are adhered to. You should also find out if there are penalties or exclusions.
There may be a late joiner penalty or an enforced waiting period. Which means you still pay a monthly fee, but will not be allowed to claim benefits.
To choose a Medical aid scheme – Look closely at the Company history
Just as health insurance firms closely study your application before allowing you to join, you can closely look at their track record for service and paying claims.
By law, these firms must have a reserve of 25% of yearly contributions from members. If they don’t, you could face higher monthly fees or reduced benefits. You can request this solvency ratio from a broker.
You should also look into the firms growth rate. If there are no new members joining up then the old members pay higher premiums to cover increasing costs.
Take some Time and Choose an Affordable plan
You want your medical aid firm to be financially sound. You can confirm this by contacting a private hospital and asking about their payment record. You’re also looking for good service. This is shown by how quickly members are paid out for claims.
If you’re still unsure of your options, speak to a broker to help you choose a medical scheme. Their advice is impartial and they will help you to find what you want.
Buying medical aid is an important decision and you must do some research before you sign on the dotted line.
All info was correct at time of publishing