Medical aid increases in 2019
October 9, 2018
South Africans are in despair. Not only is crime on the increase but pretty much everything else too. As 2018 draws to a close, medical aid members brace themselves for medical aid increases 2019. This when they are still trying to adjust to this year’s increases.
Xolani Gwala spoke toParesh Prema, General manager benefits unit at Council for Medical Schemes to find out what it is that makes medical schemes increase their premiums so consistently each year.
Medical Aid Increases 2019 – Higher Fees, higher Costs on Member Claims
Certainly, medical care service providers ask for higher fees. And these result in medical schemes paying higher costs on member claims. Private hospitals for instance are for-profit institutions. They increase their fees as often as possible, even if the increases are in excess of the general inflation.
Look at Discovery Health Medical Scheme for instance. They are South Africa’s biggest medical scheme. And now they are going to be putting up their contributions by 9.2%. This is an increase which medical aid members must believe is within the expected range for medical inflation. However, it is bigger than the hike seen in 2018.
Medical Aid Increases 2019 – Massive Premiums awaited for 2019
Fedhealth offers their members a number of plans, with one of their top plans requiring a premium of roughly R10 400 a month. This amounts to R125 000 a year. If you are a person who doesn’t get sick easily, that R125 000 will be lost to you forever. And who knows where and what the medical scheme will use it for.
Medical Aid Increases 2019 – Lots of Enhancements – but Still missing the Point
Dr Nozipho Sangweni of Discovery Health tells us that the average increase for Discovery Health members for 2019 balances the demand for – as well as the supply of – healthcare services.
He said Discovery’s priority is to ensure access to the best quality care for its members. Discovery have also created a network of day hospital facilities. Now good care can be provided where patients don’t have to overnight.
Medical Aids might be offering lots of new services and enhancements like this, but they just keep missing the point – members want to be offered simple, affordable medical aid. They believe that medical aids are bluffing everyone and that they ARE for profit and not the ‘not-for-profit’ organisations they claim to be.
Fedhealth too will have an increase of 8.5%. Fedhealth’s principal, Jeremy Yatt has proudly announced 4 new benefit packages in its FlexiFED range, but that just gives medical aid members another lot of complicated choices to look at. They’d prefer to hear that Fedhealth is simplifying their options so that they can be offering more affordable cover.
Medical aids can say that the 2019 increases are designed to ensure access to the best cover for members – enhanced benefits for those affected by a chronic condition such as cancer. Cancer sufferers deserve the best treatment there is, but many cancers develop because of stress, and the high premiums aren’t helping the stress levels of South Africans.
Medical Aid Increases 2019 – New, New, New…People don’t want even more Costly Options
New clinics, new health plans, new advancements in technology – medical aim schemes are missing the point entirely. Medical aid members aren’t looking for anything new and more sophisticated – they’re looking for good news announcing that cheap, affordable, quality healthcare is on the cards for 2019.
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All info was correct at time of publishing