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Tips on How to Choose an Affordable Medical Aid Plan


Private healthcare is costly and inaccessible to most South Africans, factors that highlight the value of affordable medical aid in maintaining good health. Few things have escaped the effects of years of increasing inflation and a steady decline in the parity of the Rand against hard currencies, and healthcare is certainly not one of them. The increased prices of imported equipment and pharmaceuticals have severely affected public and private sectors alike.

Not surprisingly, the impact on state-funded healthcare has led to further service shortfalls and even longer waiting lists. At the same time, the nation’s medical scheme managers have been under pressure to minimise their annual premium increases while attempting to avoid compromising their members’ benefits to compensate.

The following are some of the more successful strategies schemes have employed to maintain affordable medical aid:

The Extended Hospital Plan

Although these plans are nothing new, in their initial form, hospital plans only provided financial support for their members whilst receiving treatment as an inpatient. On discharge, all benefits ceased. In the current economic climate, such limited cover is only of value to young, unmarried, and generally healthy people and is entirely unsuitable for the average family or older members.

At KeyHealth, we have tackled this issue by augmenting unlimited cover for in-hospital expenses with our Origin and Equilibrium plans that include selected day-to-day benefits. The latter has a medical savings plan and could be the ideal choice for those members who prefer to manage their outpatient expenditures personally.


Designated Service Providers

Private clinics and specialists are not bound by the tariffs set by the Department of Health for state-funded services but are free to set their own. In some cases, these could be double or as much as three times the DoH recommendations. Appointing a network of service providers willing to lower their tariffs in exchange for the exclusive right to provide healthcare services for its members enables a scheme to offer more affordable medical aid products.


Added Value Products

Some schemes offer incentives like free movie tickets and discounted merchandise to entice new members. However, these are not core medical benefits and must be paid for somehow. At KeyHealth, we have chosen to add extra value to each of our already affordable products at no additional cost to our members.


How to Secure Affordable Medical Aid

KeyHealth understands your need for value for money and has responded with six highly cost-effective products. Please follow this link to learn more about our 2024 benefits and the free Easy-ER, Smart Baby Programme, and  Health Booster add-ons. Then, contact us to learn more.