How to change medical schemes
Everyone is entitled to change their medical cover if they believe they can get better service, benefits or value for money from a different company. There are easy steps you can follow to change your medical scheme but before you take action consider the reasons for your unhappiness and see if you’ll actually benefit from making this move.
Look at a rival company’s quotes and compare their policies to your own. Sometimes all you need is a bit of perspective to realise that with a few minor changes you can be far happier and you won’t need to move.
However, if you are feeling aggrieved, your first step should be to contact your current health insurance company to try and find a resolution.
In the event that you’re not satisfied with the result you can then seek help from the Council for Medical Schemes. If you see no way past your issues then you are well within your rights to leave your current hospital plan or medical aid.
Moving to a new scheme
When you move to a new scheme, make sure you are aware if there are late joiner fees or imposed waiting period where you cannot claim benefits even though you are a paying member.
There are two types of waiting periods: general and condition-specific. The general waiting period can be anything up to 90 days, while the condition-specific waiting period can last up to one year and applies to members with a chronic or pre-existing medical condition.
These waiting periods don’t apply to all new members but depend on information like the duration of your previous health insurance cover or how long a break you’ve had between hospital plans. The main reason behind this is to prevent people from joining just when they are sick and then relying on existing members to pay for their care.
How to change medical schemes
You need to find a medical policy that you feel suits you better than your current one. There is a registration procedure that you need to follow and then you wait for confirmation that you’ve been accepted as a new member.
After this validation you need to send written notification to your current health insurance company and inform them of the termination of your contract. You should receive a membership certificate from this company, stipulating your period of cover so that you can prove you’ve belonged to a medical plan.
You need to watch your dates carefully because it’s illegal to belong to two medical schemes at the same time. Know your termination date and then check that your new contract begins the very next day.
This is also to ensure that you are never without cover because you don’t know when you will need emergency medical help. You are still entitled to the benefits from the old policy until the last day that you are a paying member.
Medical health is important and everyone should have an affordable medical plan.
If you feel that your monthly contributions are too high, you’re unhappy with the benefits you receive or you feel that the service is poor, then you should look for a new medical scheme that will better suit your needs.