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Medical Aid Plans Vary Widely – Compare Them Before You Commit


Medical Aid Plans Vary Widely – Compare Them Before You Commit

In South Africa, statistics indicate that almost nine million citizens are now dependent upon one of the country’s many medical aid plans to assist them in meeting the crippling and steadily growing expenses of maintaining their health. Once a service for which most South Africans would have been free and confident to rely upon, the cost of state healthcare is now well beyond the capacity of a largely non-contributory system that is dependent primarily upon the tax pool for funding to adequately maintain.

Already overburdened public hospitals have been further hampered by lack of doctors, trained nursing staff, vital equipment, and supplies. Lengthy queues and long waiting lists for, often urgent, investigative procedures, and surgery have seen many clinics reduced to offering only primary care. Until some more effective means is found to fund the public service, private sector healthcare offers the only reliable alternative. However, the reality remains that it is only through membership of a suitable medical aid plan that the majority of those in need of its attentions will be able to afford it.

Around ninety schemes currently operate in South Africa, each offering a range of options intended ensure meeting the cover requirements and budgets of as many as possible. Most these are group schemes that restrict membership to the staff of participating companies, industries, or professions. Joining a particular scheme can often be a condition of employment but members enjoy the advantage of a group concessionary rate and, in many cases, will receive a contribution to the monthly premium by the employing company.

While price is a factor that has become more important to South Africans since the 2008 recession and the financial difficulties that followed, when choosing between medical aid plans, affordability is just one of the important criteria. Rather like when buying a new car, performance and reliability can prove to be at least as important, if not more so, than its price tag. Unfortunately, these are qualities that will only be put to the test during the months after the purchase agreement has been signed.

In essence, when considering private healthcare cover, the potential member is seeking certain assurances. Chief among these is that the bulk of their expenses will be met when faced with those contingencies that they consider to be most likely and for which cover is therefore of greatest importance. Simply put, to be of value to members and their dependents, the range of benefits offered under a medical aid plan must be both adequate and appropriate.

Frequently, complex legal terminology and conditions all but concealed in the small print makes understanding the benefits and the regulations that govern them difficult and encourages people to trust luck and sign up regardless, only to regret their haste later. Others may be seduced into membership with offers of various incentives that invariably results in some curtailment of benefits.

For affordable monthly premiums, benefits that are both sufficient and relevant to your needs, and described in understandable terms backed by almost 50 years of know-how and reliable performance, the range of KeyHealth medical aid plans has become the preferred choice for many thousands of South Africans.