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How to Find Affordable Medical Aid Plans in South Africa


Right now, we’re all feeling the crunch. After a tough year, many of us are looking for ways to tighten our budget and make our money stretch just a bit further. This sometimes means having to cut out certain expenses completely. Unfortunately, for some this includes cutting back on medical expenses. It seems like an obvious choice, considering the often exorbitant prices of healthcare, especially if you’re currently healthy or coping with your healthcare. However, this is a dangerous game to play. Your health is one of the most important things in life, and you should prioritise looking after it.

Now, this might sound easy to say – and it makes sense, no one is going to argue that. But how do you manage this when times are challenging and money is tight? This is exactly what medical aid plans are for. Some might think that medical aid plans are too expensive, and that this is an expense that can be cut when trying to save money. However, there are affordable medical aid plans out there, and the value you get out of it depends wholly on your approach to choosing the one that is right for your unique needs.


The key to finding an affordable medical aid plan

One of the reasons why people think medical aid plans are so expensive is because the perception exists that only the top tier plans provide the necessary cover. The truth is that we all have very different healthcare needs and thus exhibit vastly different usage behaviour. These top tier plans are designed to provide premium comprehensive cover at a rate that justifies this extensive cover. However, most individuals do not need such extensive cover. This is specifically designed for those who are reliant on frequent medical care for a variety of conditions and would otherwise be spending even more money paying for their healthcare.

Medical aid plans become affordable when they are fit for purpose. This means that they help you save money or avoid unaffordable expenses when you choose a plan that meets your specific healthcare requirements.

You know your own health status and healthcare needs best. Follow these steps to help prioritise your unique requirements in the journey to find the best quality affordable medical aid plan for you and your family:

Step 1: Start with your budget

Know how much you have available every month to spend on medical aid. Ultimately, there is very little benefit in a medical aid plan if you can’t afford the monthly payments. Identify the amount you are able or willing to spend, as this will help you navigate the myriad of choices out there.

Step 2: List your healthcare needs and usage habits

No-one knows your health status better than you. You know what conditions you have, how often you tend to get sick, how often you see a doctor, and how much you spend on medical-related costs. Use this information to your advantage to help identify a plan that offers the benefits that you’ll use. If, for example, you seldom see the doctor, a hospital plan might be sufficient to protect against steep hospital costs in case of an accident. However, if you have children, you may need to ensure that you have day-to-day benefit to cover doctor’s visits.

Step 3: Find a medical scheme you trust

Check out the financial soundness of the scheme. A good indicator of this is the scheme’s solvency (or reserve) level. All schemes are required by law to have at least 25% of members’ annual contributions in reserve to pay claims should anything go wrong. Schemes that don’t meet this requirement might not be sustainable in the long run and will probably have higher contribution rates in order to make up the shortfall.

Also look at the way they talk to their customers, and see if you can find any feedback from members regarding their experiences in dealing with the medical scheme.

Step 4: Do a plan comparison

Now that you have identified a scheme (or a few), your healthcare needs and your budget, you can start comparing plans. Use your requirements as a checklist, and discard plans that do not meet your top-priority needs, or that fall outside your budget. Eliminate any options that you’re not sure about, so that you’re only left with the top choices. Take your time to read all the benefits, features and excursions of each plan. It might not be the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but it is worth it.

Step 5: Ask all of the questions

If anything is unclear, ask. Even if you think you should probably know it, or are worried that the agent at the scheme will get tired of answering questions, carry on. Often, so much jargon is used by schemes, that no normal person can keep up with what they actually mean. Ask and ask again until you are confident that you understand what the plan offers. You don’t want to find out afterwards that something you weren’t sure about is actually not covered.


KeyHealth: Providing affordable medical aid plans that work

At KeyHealth, we understand how daunting it can be to choose a medical aid plan. That’s why we make the process as simple as possible. We help you compare our products, avoid jargon wherever possible and we focus on the medical aid benefits, rather than misguided fringe benefits. What you see is what you get. Essentially, it is real value for money as opposed to perceived value for money. It’s medical aid cover without the extras and empty promises.


Additional member benefits at no extra cost

In an effort to make our medical aid plans even more affordable for our members, we add value to your healthcare plan by including the following benefits at no extra cost to you:

  • Health Booster: We provide certain health assessments to help you manage your health better.
  • Smart Baby: We provide necessary guidance and advice to expectant mothers and fathers.
  • Easy-ER: Get direct access to a hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) for medical treatment in emergency situations without any hassle or unexpected fees.


If you’re looking for affordable medical aid plans you can trust, start by comparing the KeyHealth options right away. It’s simple. It’s authentic. It’s smart.