Points to Watch When You Sign Up for Medical Aid
To sign up for medical aid is perhaps more essential today than at any time in the past. The cost of healthcare has risen dramatically during recent decades and the number of people who can now afford it without assistance has declined in inverse proportion. The spiralling costs are not, of course, due solely to the much needed increases in the salaries of healthcare workers or even a drive to recover profits lost on concessions to state health facilities that are even worse affected. In practice, the technological advances in this vital field that have been responsible for much of the escalation and the benefits that they bring more than justify any additional investment.
When you sign up for medical aid today, your scheme may be called upon to cover, at least, the bulk of the cost of performing a CAT scan, a percutaneous ultrasound examination of your coronary arteries or even an organ transplant that could otherwise have cost you a year’s salary or more. It is not too surprising that premiums have risen to compensate. A secondary effect of these rising costs has been to fuel greater competition between the various schemes. Today, around 80 schemes remain active, some long-established and others relatively new, in and industry that once supported almost three times this number.
Those left with which you can still sign up for medical aid have resorted to various means in order to remain operational and, in making the right choice, there are some important points to consider. The first of these concerns the premium price. While affordability is increasingly becoming a key factor in such decisions, it should not be allowed to overrule the need for adequate cover. Just as when purchasing car insurance, a low premium is often possible if one agrees to accept a higher excess, similar compromises will often be the explanation for what may appear to be cheaper private healthcare cover.
The lesson is clear. Before you go ahead and sign up for medical aid don’t just compare prices, compare benefits as well. Be sure that you are actually comparing apples with apples. That said, this is a task that is not always as straightforward as it could be. A combination of industry jargon and small print can be hard to penetrate when your objective is to determine whether or not your chosen product adequately covers the expenses arising from post-natal and paediatric needs, for instance.
On occasions, when confronted with an array of incentives like loyalty points, discounted movie tickets and similar concessions, it is easy to forget that these non-core benefits add costs that must inevitably detract from benefits. The temptation to sign up for medical aid and enjoy them is great, and will often be enough to induce a prospective member to proceed regardless.
There is good news, however. None of these observations mean that the hunt for more affordable cover must automatically result in the need to compromise on core benefits or the quality of your healthcare. In fact, when choosing any of the products offered by us at KeyHealth, you are very likely to be gaining more core benefits, yet paying less. Clearly defined, relevant benefits, including some that are unique, are yours when you sign up for medical aid with KeyHealth.