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Medical Aid – Affordable Medical Aid for Couples


What Constitutes an Affordable Medical Aid Scheme for Couples?

Obviously, just how affordable membership of a medical aid scheme is likely to be for couples in South Africa, will depend, to a large extent, upon their financial circumstances. Other factors that are also bound to play a role include their ages, the state of their general health and any plans that they may have to graduate from the status of a duo to that of proud parents.

Today, more often than not, both partners in a relationship normally find it necessary to work in order to meet the high costs of rent or bond repayments, and to pay for the many facilities, such as a car, a two-door fridge-freezer and a flat-screen TV with a DStv bouquet, that we now tend to regard as being among the essentials of our modern lifestyles. In many cases, an employment offer will include the opportunity to enjoy the more affordable premiums provided by a group medical aid scheme for which one member of the couple may then obtain joint cover designed to meet the private healthcare expenses of both.

Membership of a group scheme can sometimes be a condition of employment and, like all schemes, these are structured in such a way that cover for the main member, in this case the employee, accounts for the bulk of the premium with that for each dependent member included for an additional, but significantly smaller, amount. On occasions that both parties may be employed by different companies and each may offer its employees membership of a group scheme, this raises two important concerns. In the first place, it is illegal to be enrolled in two medical aid schemes simultaneously, both for couples and for individuals. Secondly, it is obviously less affordable for each of the partners to be enrolled individually as a main member, within their respective scheme, as this would then mean that both of them would be required to pay the correspondingly higher premium rate.

In such circumstances, one of the partners is required to forgo group membership, applying for permission and explaining the circumstances if necessary, in order to be included as a dependent in the other partner’s scheme, instead. Before deciding upon which of the two schemes to join, it will pay to make a careful comparison of the benefits offered by each, noting any that you consider to be important but which are not adequately covered by one or the other. The relative premium price is of far less importance and, in many cases, will be offset by a contribution from the employer.

However, where the partners are both self-employed, selecting the most suitable and most affordable medical aid for a couple will mean choosing an open scheme without the discounted premiums that normally apply to the closed group schemes. Obtaining value for money will be especially important, particularly for those who may be working together in order to grow a new business of their own.

For this you will need to seek out a well-established scheme with a history of success and a range of products to suit most budgets whilst also covering their most likely needs as comprehensively as possible. One company that is guaranteed to tick each of these important boxes and more is KeyHealth.