It’s vital to have medical aid cover in order to access quality private healthcare facilities, and to afford the associated costs. Our health should be our top priority, but it can be costly. This is why some people choose to compare the benefits associated with a more affordable hospital plan instead of choosing a costly comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive vs. Hospital Plans
Before we take a look at how to compare hospital plans, let’s take a closer look at what the difference is between comprehensive medical aid plans and hospital plans. While both provide payment for in-hospital treatments and medication, hospital plans don’t cover out-of-hospital expenses, such as GP visits. This tends to make hospital plans more affordable for people who don’t often visit their doctor, but want cover for the cost if a situation arises where they need hospitalisation. This is often a beneficial plan for young people who are healthy and at the start of their career.
It is important to note that we’re not referring to health insurance hospital plans here, which would pay out a cash amount to the client to cover their own associated costs or cover their loss of income during their stay in the healthcare facility.
Most medical schemes offer some form of hospital plan and, as can be expected, each scheme will have its own features, benefits and exclusions attached.
Important factors to consider when you compare hospital plans:
- Look at which hospitals are covered
This is essential. Some schemes make use of specified hospital networks in order to provide you with a more preferential rate. This is great, unless you live in an area where you do not have access to a healthcare facility within this network.
- Pay attention to any possible exclusions
Don’t simply assume that every hospital plan will cover every single type of procedure that takes place in a healthcare facility. Each scheme offers different benefits, limits and exclusions. When you compare hospital plans, this is one of the most important sections to study in detail. Make sure it covers what you require, or that you are aware of the limitations and can plan accordingly.
- Does it include a day-to-day benefit or savings plan?
Some schemes offer variations on their hospital plans. These can sometimes include some day-to-day benefits at a slightly higher rate, or a medical savings account benefit. Such an inclusion will raise your monthly premium, but provide additional benefits.
- Make sure emergency admittance is covered
Hidden fees are never a pleasant surprise. Especially not if you are already in an emergency room. While hospital plans usually require permission for admittance, this is not practical during an emergency situation. Make sure the scheme you choose covers emergency room admittance.
- Are there any additional benefits attached to the plan that might increase the value you get from it?
Another way to distinguish between options when you compare hospital plans, is by comparing the added benefits. Be aware of empty benefits that look flashy, and focus on added healthcare benefits that will give your more value for your money. This could include things like added pregnancy support or free health assessments.
Tackling the comparison challenges
Even when armed with the answers to the questions above, many of us still experience some uncertainty when having to compare the various options and make our choice. These following factors usually make it challenging to choose the ideal hospital plan:
- Inconsistency in comparisons
Every medical scheme will have their own way or wording certain benefits, or will highlight different features to make their plan seem unique compared to their competitors. For the regular person, however, this can make a like-for-like comparison difficult and time-consuming.
- Excessive complexity
This is a common issue with many service providers. Medical aid plans by their very nature can be quite complex. A lot of information, benefits and clauses must be communicated in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. However, more often you’ll find that medical schemes use way too much pretentious jargon and excessively complex ways to describe their options This can make it difficult to extract the necessary information and clearly assess the features and benefits of the plan.
- Perceived benefits vs. real benefits
Medical aid is not a flashy, attractive product. It’s logical and responsible. So, it’s easy to get distracted and dazzled by the numerous fringe benefits that some schemes tack onto their plans. However, what you want is reliable healthcare cover, not a free smoothie every quarter. You want to know that you are getting value for your money, and that you will receive the healthcare you need when you need it most.
The KeyHealth solution focussed on your health needs
At KeyHealth, we understand how difficult it can be to compare hospital plans and choose the ideal medical aid plan for you and your family. Medical jargon, a wide variety of schemes, and an even wider range of benefit options make it extremely difficult to find the right one for you. It is our philosophy to keep it smart and simple to ensure that you can navigate your choices easily, and have confidence in the choice you make.
The benefits of our products don’t hide behind loyalty programmes, bonuses and frivolous add-ons. We strip away the misguided fringe benefits, so that what remains is pure medical aid. What you see is what you get. Essentially, it’s real value for money as opposed to perceived value for money. It’s reliable medical aid without the extras and empty promises.
Easier comparison with our online feature
Comparing the five KeyHealth plan options, including our hospital plan, could not be simpler or easier. Simply select the current status that best matches your own on the “Compare our Products” page and two options will pop up for an easy, at-a-glance comparison. It is pure, simple, and smart – the way KeyHealth does everything.