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A Review of the KeyHealth Medical Scheme Options for 2023


2023 is starting off as a challenging year financially for most South African families. Fortunately, KeyHealth Medical Scheme has some very affordable options. In common with most countries, we have been experiencing spiralling inflation that began with the Covid-19 pandemic and has been further exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. To make ends meet, most people have needed to find ways to economise. However, while it may be no great hardship to settle for a cheaper TV or to delay that overseas trip, compromising could prove a big mistake when planning for your healthcare needs.

While in the past, we could rely on the state-funded system for inexpensive or even free treatment, the system is now seriously overburdened and underfunded, forcing many more to seek help from the private healthcare sector. However, the vast majority who choose this route must rely on financial assistance from medical aid to meet the markedly higher costs. However, monthly premiums are also subject to inflation and tend to increase annually. Against the odds, the more innovative of South Africa’s medical aids have succeeded in developing some more affordable products for the year ahead.


KeyHealth Medical Scheme has a Product to Suit Most Healthcare Needs and Budgets

It is an undeniable fact that healthcare is expensive, whether it is state-funded or private. For example, medicines are often costly, ostensibly due to the large sums invested in research and development by pharmaceutical companies, which must be recovered. A CT scanner will cost a clinic several million Rands and around one million merely to replace a worn-out X-ray tube. Understandably, the cost of a scan is correspondingly high. By contrast, the average fee for consulting a GP is just over R500. In practice, the heftier price tags tend to occur when treatment requires hospitalisation, which inspired the country’s medical aid companies to develop the hospital plan.

These plans were initially aimed at young people with good general health and sufficient income to meet any-day-to-day medical expenses, like GP visits and prescription charges. Members could guarantee cover for all or most of the potentially crippling costs of in-patient treatment for an accident or medical emergency in exchange for a modest premium. Today, KeyHealth Medical Scheme has extended this concept, adding further benefits to the basic plan, making this an option that is still affordable but meets the more essential needs of a whole family. Let’s take a closer look at the KeyHealth product lineup for 2023. Members have six choices, of which the following three should be affordable to most.

  1. Essence: As an entry-level hospital plan, Essence is excellent value, offering members low-cost coverage for critical care expenses. It is a “just in case” option that caters for in-patient treatment of injuries and costly medical emergencies while also covering the 26 chronic medical conditions listed by the Council for Medical Schemes among the prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs).


  1. Origin: For those on a tight budget, Origin is the best choice if they require more support with out-of-hospital expenses. Whereas these are provided at cost for Essence members and are limited to PMBs, this option covers the cost of GP visits, virtual consultations with specialists, prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, and various auxiliary services up to a stated maximum value for the principal member, adult and child dependents.


  1. Equilibrium: As its name implies, this option offers well-balanced benefits for those seeking stability and extra security. At its core is an unlimited private hospital plan supplemented by specified day-to-day cover that includes benefits for 29 chronic medical conditions. Conservative dental cover is also included, plus 80% to 100% cover for specialised dentistry. A personal savings plan allows members the freedom to choose which other out-of-hospital costs they prefer to cover.


Other 2023 Product Options From the KeyHealth Medical Scheme

The three remaining products in our 2023 portfolio are designed for those who need fully-comprehensive cover and are named Silver, Gold and Platinum, respectively. The value of benefits included in each of these products reflects the relative price of the three precious metals, as do the corresponding premiums.


All KeyHealth Medical Scheme Products Include Three Unique Free Core Benefits

Whether your budget runs to a basic hospital plan or a fully-comprehensive product, all KeyHealth members can benefit from our Health Booster, Easy-ER and Smart Baby Programme at no extra charge. Please click here to learn more about our 2023 products and these invaluable free add-ons.