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Looking for Cheap Medical Aid in South Africa?


Looking for Cheap Medical Aid in South Africa?

When you are looking for medical aid in South Africa, the cheap option can sometimes prove to be the more costly choice. This, however, does not mean that you should simply go for a top-of-the-range product and trust that it is bound to be your best option. Selecting cover that is just right for you and your family is only in part about how much you will be paying in monthly premiums. In practice, you will need to balance the cost of any option that you may choose against the range of benefits that it offers, and just how relevant these may be to your individual needs.

For a young person in good general health, looking for cheap medical aid can be a more viable option. In South Africa, many of the schemes in operation today offer a product known as a hospital plan, while something similar is also available from several of the country’s insurance companies. The principle behind such products is simple enough.

Where general health is good but income limited, minor expenses incurred for the odd GP visit or filling a prescription can invariably be settled without hardship. A prolonged period in hospital as the result of an accident or perhaps to undergo an emergency appendectomy could generate crippling costs. A hospital plan covers expenses only while hospitalised and, as such, will not suit everyone who may be looking for cheap medical aid in South Africa. Incidentally, cover under a parent’s scheme may continue beyond the age of 21, while he or she remains financially dependent upon the main member.

For a family or an older individual, the statistical probability of illness and the associated cost of treatment is, of course, significantly greater, so to settle for such a curtailed form of cover would be unwise even though it may appear to be the least expensive option. In such cases and especially where affordability is likely to be a significant issue, it will be a good idea to do some comparative window shopping before making a commitment. There are, however, some points to watch when looking for cheap medical aid in South Africa.

If you happen to be working for a company that offers membership of a closed scheme, membership of that scheme is often a condition of employment but, even where it is not, this can still be a good option. The combination of a reduced premium for group membership and a matching contribution from his or her employer is, in many cases, the only way for an employee to obtain cover that is both adequate and affordable. In practice, it is often the self-employed for whom looking for cheap medical aid is most important.

In South Africa, closed schemes dominate and membership of these is restricted to a specific company, profession or organisation. By contrast, open schemes impose no such restriction and represent around a quarter of those currently operating. Most importantly, the schemes that you select must cover your known needs. All are now forced to cater for 25 common, chronic illnesses, so it is other contingencies that you need to watch. In practice, when looking for cheap medical aid in South Africa, many now choose a KeyHealth product to ensure cover that is both affordable and relevant.