Some Tips on how to Join a Medical Aid Scheme
In South Africa, there can be little doubt about the importance of having some form of private healthcare cover. Given the rate at which the cost of treatment has escalated over the years, and continues to do so, there is no longer a need to ponder whether it is necessary to join a medical scheme. Instead, it is more important that one learns how to do so as soon as possible.
Locally, the bulk of those who enjoy private healthcare cover are employees of a third party and, where this is a reasonably large company, the chances are that they will have been enrolled in one of the nation’s 70 or so closed schemes. In fact, membership is, in many cases, a basic condition of employment and one in which at least a portion of the monthly premium is contributed by the employer and forms a part of the employee’s remuneration package. Joining in such cases is a relatively simple procedure that involves completing a form with a few details about the prospective member’s health and that of their dependents. By arrangement, the premiums charged are generally determined by the member’s salary and the number of people covered.
For the self-employed individual or for an employee whose company may not be contracted to a closed medical scheme, how to join is likely to be a little less straightforward. For such people, unless they happen to be members of a particular industry such as mining or construction, or are enrolled in a professional body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, they will need to choose just one from the close to 30 open or unrestricted schemes that are currently operating in South Africa. To ensure making the best choice is going to involve some preliminary research and will, at some stage, require obtaining a few quotes in order to make the comparisons that will be needed for an informed decision.
Given the continuing state of uncertainty with the country’s economy, most South Africans have needed to tighten their belts in recent years. In practice, therefore, how to pay has now become as important to many people as how to join, when they are choosing a suitable medical scheme. That said, it is equally important not to make the mistake of basing the decision-making process on the cost of premiums alone. What is, however, crucially important, is to ensure that whatever product one may choose provides all of the benefits that are most likely to be most relevant to the main member and to any dependents who are to be included in the cover.
Using one of the online comparison sites can be particularly helpful when drawing up a short list of products that fall within the budget available. These will then require some closer scrutiny to select which medical scheme offers the benefits that best cater for the known needs. With the decision made, the preliminary stages of how to join can normally be completed online or by telephone.
You could, of course, save a lot of time and money by simply browsing the KeyHealth website and selecting from among the country’s most affordable and comprehensive products and provide exceptional support for your private healthcare costs.