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How Do I Choose the Right Medical Aid?


This is a question that many South Africans have asked at some time or another, and while there are a number of factors to consider, there are a few simple guidelines, which if observed, should help to make the task a little easier. Given the sad state of the economy, as is the case with most of the purchases we make today, the cost of obtaining cover is almost certain to be one of the factors in the decision-making process. However, while it might sound trite, you cannot put a price on your health or that of a loved one. So, when asking: “How do I choose the right medical aid?” an important component of the answer must be to avoid making a decision based solely on the price.

You may choose a pair of shoes because they are inexpensive, but you will only do so if they are a comfortable fit. Likewise, if your objective is to ensure that you, and the members of your family, will be able to receive all of the private healthcare they might require in the event of illness or injury, you should only settle for a product that is the best fit for your collective needs. In other words, even if you may have a limited budget, in answer to the question: “How do I choose the right medical aid?” the simplest advice is to be sure you choose the product that offers you the most bang for your buck.

Many of those in full-time, formal employment are unlikely to be faced with this choice. For them, membership of a nominated group or closed scheme will often be a mandatory condition of employment. In such cases, the monthly payments are invariably less of an obstacle, as group membership generally qualifies members for a discounted premium. In addition, a joint contribution from the employer will usually serve to reduce the premiums even further, while the balance paid by the employee qualifies for tax relief.

For the self-employed, or for those whose employers have no affiliation with a group scheme, the question: “How do I choose the right medical aid?” is one that is more relevant, and making the right decision will require making some comparisons. With more than 25 open schemes to investigate, each of which offers a number of different options, choosing the best one for you would once have been something of a marathon task. However, the digital age and the subsequent spread of internet access now offer a far quicker and simpler approach in the form of dedicated comparison sites.

How do you choose the right medical aid? Simply answer a few on-screen questions and a search engine retrieves all of those schemes that meet your stated requirements. The first step is to select those in which the monthly premiums are within your budget. Finally, you need to take a closer look both at the companies responsible for those schemes and the choice of products that each offers.

With 50-years’ experience, a track record for meeting claims on time, and affordable, no-frills products that focus on maximising core benefits, many of which are totally unique, KeyHealth is increasingly the answer for those who ask: “How do I choose the right medical aid?”