Who Should Consider Enrolling in a Hospital Plan?
At a time when so many South Africans are battling to make ends meet, many have become desperate for ways to save some of their hard-earned cash and, regrettably, moving to a cheaper medical aid will often be one of the economies they consider. Of the many products available locally, none are cheaper than hospital plans. However, a clear understanding of just who should consider purchasing one of these products, and who should not, is especially important.
For this, one has to look at the purpose for which they were designed. Rather than with the sole objective of providing everyone who is cash-strapped with a cheap alternative, they were aimed at a specific demographic. They were originally intended for young singles with sound general health, fresh from school or varsity, in their first job and unable to afford more comprehensive products, to shield them from the crippling cost of an accident or emergency surgery. Consequently, this cover only applies when undergoing treatment as an in-patient. For the rest of the time, these generally healthy young people would be required to pay the occasional GP visit and script or over-the-counter medications from their own pockets.
Clearly, this is not an option for the average married adult with a family, especially where there may be young children or someone with a chronic condition that requires year-round monitoring, treatment, and medication. In fact, these products must provide cover for prescribed minimum benefits including 25 chronic illnesses, but only for in-patients. Consequently, even a young single person with a chronic illness should consider their financial position carefully before enrolling in a hospital plan. Unless they know that the ongoing cost of treatment will be affordable, this will not be a viable choice.
A more viable option is now available to those who should really consider spending less but do not wish to compromise their benefits too badly. KeyHealth has combined some valuable additional benefits with those of typical hospital plans to create an affordable entry-level product that could be their solution.