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Medical Aid Provides a Valuable Hedge Against Debt Arising From Medical Events


Many South Africans without medical aid rely on their continued good health, but some were deeply indebted when Covid-19 left them on a respirator in an ICU. Too often, we take our health for granted, ignoring the possibility that an accident or medical emergency could, nevertheless, arise. Of course, public healthcare facilities offer cheap and, in some cases, free treatment, but they are understaffed and ill-equipped, and even emergency patients must often wait hours or even days to be seen.

For those who can afford it, private healthcare offers immediate attention, the latest treatments and equipment and the attention of highly qualified and experienced staff. For those who can’t, there are currently 75 medical schemes operating locally. Of these, 57 are restricted or closed schemes, available only to employees of participating companies, specified professions or professional bodies. For everyone else, 18 open schemes are competing to serve them.


Types of medical aid products

These fall into four categories based on the extent of their benefits, which tends to be reflected in their premium price.

  • Entry-level hospital plans:

    These are aimed primarily at members in good general health whose sole concern is the potentially crippling cost of hospitalisation and surgery due to an accident or medical emergency. Incidentally, “Essence”, KeyHealth’s entry-level plan, also covers psychiatric treatment, prosthetics, emergency transport, medical appliances and endoscopic procedures.

  • Enhanced hospital plans:

    These combine the benefits of a basic hospital plan with added support for specified day-to-day medical expenses. For example, our “Origin” product covers GP visits, specialist consultations, pathology tests, conservative dentistry and optical services. Members who choose our “Equilibrium” option enjoy the same primary benefits combined with support for 29 chronic illnesses and the option to manage their out-of-hospital medical costs via an integrated savings account.

  • Fully-comprehensive medical aid cover:

    Products in this category are designed for families with more extensive medical needs. In addition to providing higher limits on individual and accumulated claims, members enjoy support with additional services such as specialised dentistry and hearing aids. Our “Gold”, “Silver”, and “Platinum” offerings fall into this category, each with additional benefits including cover for up to 55 chronic medical conditions.

  • Add-ons:

    Most medical aid schemes include various non-standard benefits at no charge. Frequently these are intended as incentives to boost membership and could be discounted gym memberships or free movie tickets, and the costs are merely hidden. By contrast, all our products include three genuinely free and valuable core medical benefits. Namely, “Easy-ER”, “Smart Baby Programme”, and “Health Booster”.


Medical aid from KeyHealth

We invite you to view our 2023 benefits and request a quote to ensure peace of mind for you and your family.