What is the Best Way to Compare Medical Aids?
Before addressing any specifics, it must be emphasised that anyone planning to join one of the country’s many medical aids will be well advised to compare a number of them in detail, before agreeing to append his or her signature to a contract. Currently, there are twenty-six registered open schemes in South Africa from which those who are not covered by a closed group scheme are free to take their pick. Needless to say, the competition among many of these can often be quite fierce and the use of various incentives has become a popular marketing tactic among those eager to build their membership numbers.
The promise of two-for-one movie tickets, discounted gym membership or loyalty points that can be exchanged for gifts will often be enough to provoke a favourable decision from a previously undecided applicant. However, we all know that the so-called free lunch is a myth and so the only way in which such perks are likely to affect a product’s core benefits is to add a little more to their cost. In practice, what you really need to compare about medical aids are those core benefits.
It is a simple matter to google a list of the available schemes and to identify their contact details. Of these, the website address may be a good place to start and one might be well-advised to begin by establishing just how long a scheme has been doing business. The heyday of this industry was the middle to late ‘60s and so any company that is still operating in 2016 must be doing something right. More specifically, it will have a membership that is large enough and of a sufficiently low average age to meet all of its claims, while also allowing it to maintain a solvency ratio of at least 25%. In addition, a sound international credit rating offers the further confidence that it can also cope with unexpected contingencies.
Since affordability is most often a key factor when choosing a medical aid today, one of the best ways in which to produce a shortlist is to compare premiums of several products simultaneously by using one of the many comparison sites now available. Since these sites tend to promote a favoured few, it may be worth visiting one or two of them and identifying perhaps half a dozen or so in total that fall within your budget.
From this shortlist, the next step will be to take a detailed look at the various benefits that each of their affordable products provide. Look for the limits set on individual and annual claims in the various categories and decide whether these meet your family’s needs and whether you can cover any co-payments where required. The annual cost of specialised services, such as dentistry, for instance, can escalate rapidly if you have young children. With the original shortlist reduced to a choice of two or three, it is now the time to apply the findings uncovered with regards to these schemes’ backgrounds.
If KeyHealth features in your shortlist, you need have no worries regarding our company’s stability. Operating since 1968, we are a medical aid renowned for exceptional value and a strong emphasis on maximising the core benefits of our comprehensive, yet surprisingly affordable, products.