Cheap Hospital Plans are Not the Best Solution for Everyone
Many schemes now offer cheap hospital plans in response to the steadily escalating cost of healthcare. The demand for these products has been further fuelled by the failure of state funded facilities to cope with their increasing workload and inadequate budget. This, in turn, has driven many South Africans with insufficient income to pay for more comprehensive cover, to look instead for more affordable products that will enable them to obtain their treatment from private sector healthcare providers.
While their financial status will clearly restrict such people to enrolment in a scheme that can offer them a product with a sufficiently affordable monthly premium, such a product must also provide adequate cover. Far too often, cheap hospital plans will fail to do so and it should be borne in mind that they are intended primarily for younger members who have a history of sound general health. When struggling to balance the monthly household budget, it is easy to overlook the obvious.
The fact is that lower premiums, in the majority of cases will mean that, in return for the lower payments, you and your family will receive less cover. Typically, the benefits offered by this type of product operate only during periods of hospitalisation and, at all other times, most will leave you needing to pick up the bills for everything else, including chronic medication.
Cheap hospital plans are offered by insurance companies too, but differ from those of the medical aid schemes in that they are not based upon treatment costs. Instead, they undertake to provide you with a daily cash benefit during admission, which ceases upon discharge and will not even come close to meeting your medical expenses. Cheaper even than those offered by most medical aids, the insurance industry’s cash plans are bound by no legal obligation to include the prescribed minimum benefits required of all products offered by South African medical schemes.
Fortunately, excluding the more valuable but more costly benefits is only one way to create cheap hospital plans. Furthermore, lower premiums can actually be achieved without seriously compromising a member’s cover. At KeyHealth, we offer the proof of this with a product designed to provide not just for the big bills while a member is in hospital, but also for many of the more essential day-to-day, year round medical needs.
So how has KeyHealth managed to make this possible while other schemes have not? To achieve the exceptional value offered by our “Essence” option, our product designers have focussed on a member’s essential needs and excluded all that is irrelevant. What we offer is not a cheap hospital plan, but solid cover designed to meet the most important needs of the beneficiaries and stripped of trivia, such as loyalty programmes, bonuses and other add-ons. While such features may serve to increase consumer appeal, they also result in an increased cost that adds absolutely nothing to a member’s medical benefits in return.
Whether you choose the “Essence” option or one of our other four value-for-money products, our policy of total transparency is your guarantee that what you see is what you get. We aim to make medical aid both simple and affordable with quality cover that could cost you little more than a cheap hospital plan.