While we all tend to worry about our children’s health and how best to protect them, if we are to give them all of the care they need, it is just as essential that we look after our own health. Given the difficulties currently being experienced by the nation’s public healthcare service and the high cost of treatment within the private sector, medical aid for parents is becoming more and more essential both for themselves and for their kids.
Throughout the course of a pregnancy, as well as during and following the birth of a child, there is a heightened risk of health issues. As a consequence, there is a need for careful monitoring and, in some cases, professional intervention may be required. For example, complications with a normal birth might make it necessary to perform a Caesarean section, adding even further to a substantial hospital bill, so medical aid can be especially important for new parents.
Post-partum complications, though a relatively rare occurrence today, could lead to more expenses. However, it is the needs of the newborn that tend to create the most concern. An infant’s rhesus blood type may be incompatible with that of the mother, resulting in jaundice and the need for an exchange transfusion. Alternatively, it may be born prematurely and may need to be kept in an incubator in a paediatric intensive care unit.
It is, however, during the first two or three years of a child’s life that the importance of medical aid for parents will often become the most apparent. Statistically, ear infections rank as one of the most common reasons for a child to visit a doctor. What may begin as a GP visit could quite possibly progress to a referral to an ENT specialist that could perhaps even entail performing surgery to fit grommets or to remove the tonsils.
Though these early years can be difficult enough, it is often when a child starts to attend school that the true value of medical aid for parents is likely to be most appreciated. In addition to lessons, school days are an opportunity to indulge in some of the exploits a mother or father would have considered too unsafe. Quite apart from the risk of cuts, bruises, sprains and, worst-case scenario, a fracture, schools are also the perfect environment for the transmission of infectious diseases, such as measles and mumps, among the uninoculated, and coughs and colds among everyone.
Throughout secondary and tertiary education, until children start earning, medical aid for parents will remain a necessity. Although cover for them will normally cease on their 21st birthday, it can normally be extended to continue helping those who are still engaged in full-time study. Only when they graduate and are employed does it become necessary for them to seek their own cover. In many cases, they will be unable to afford fully comprehensive healthcare cover for a year or two and so, to assist them, most schemes have a hospital plan that covers only costly emergencies, such as an injury.
Once mom and dad are relieved of the responsibility for insuring their children’s’ healthcare expenses, further medical aid will be solely for the benefit of their parents and should even cost a little less.