Coronavirus lockdown in SA: What does this mean for KeyHealth?

As a business engaged in healthcare, KeyHealth is fully supportive of government’s decision to enforce a 21-day lockdown period from midnight on 26 March 2020. Considering the global spread of the pandemic, we believe this is the correct measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to safeguard the health of our country’s citizens.

In anticipation of President Ramaphosa’s address on Monday, 23 March, we prepared and implemented contingency plans to ensure that all our critical business functions continue with minimum interruptions. We will do all we can to ensure continued service delivery to our members.

The following is an extract from an article published by IOL on 23 March:

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a countrywide lockdown, part of which is that only certain categories of businesses can remain open. These businesses are:

"Pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare providers. Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open. A full list of the categories of businesses that should remain open, will be published.
All other shops and businesses will be closed.

The list stipulates the essential services that will be maintained during the lockdown.

    1. Electricity – stable power supply with no load-shedding.
    2. Water supply, sewerage and sanitation.
    3. ICT – datacentres, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae.
    1. Food and essential products – related manufacturing and processing, and distribution.
      In order to ensure that people remain well-nourished and apply high personal hygiene to combat the spread of COVID-19, the following operations will continue:
      1. Manufacturing of health-related products, supplies, devices, equipment, and medicines, including complementary health products; food and essential products, as well as essential inputs thereto.
      2. Agricultural and food supply related operations, including farming, veterinary and phytosanitary provider services, pest control services, and chemical and fertilizer providers.
      3. Fishing operations.
      4. Forestry and sawmills will remain in production for disposable health and hygiene products, including toilet paper; as well as for the production of packaging for essential health and food supply chains.
      5. Food, beverages and essential products manufacturing and processing facilities.
      6. Warehousing, transport and logistics for food and essential products, and health-related goods.
      7. The ports, road and rail networks will remain open in order to facilitate the import and export of essential products.
      8. Food outlets – retail, wholesale, spaza shops and malls for food and essential products.
      Essential products including toilet paper, cleaners, sanitisers and disinfectants, personal hygiene products, bedding and clothing, and essential supplies for those taking care of the sick and for people to remain healthy.
    2. Enabling services
      To assist in the COVID-19 response, the following services are required to continue operations:
      1. All healthcare-related services be they public or private.
      2. Call centres providing life and health; energy, food and water supply, social, transactional, communications, law and order and international critical business continuity services.
      3. Professional and artisan services, to the extent that they are providing support in the COVID-19 response, essential and critical business continuity services.
      4. Cleaning, laundry and hospitality services supporting the COVID-19 response and essential and critical business continuity services.
      5. Hotels, airlines, stadiums, car rental services, to the extent that they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services and repurposing for essential services.
      6. Financial and insurance services and health funders required to finance and support essential and critical business continuity services in the COVID-19 response and provide short-term bridging finance to people and businesses during this period.
      7. Anti-poaching and wildlife conservation services.
      8. Communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online.
      9. Safety and security services protecting people and property.
    3. Work from home
      The government encourages people to continue to remain productive and work from home. However, this must be on the basis that it does not require contact with people not residing in the home, and it does not interfere in any manner with the COVID-19 response.

According to the statement, other than the listed services/industries, businesses will need to shut down during the lockdown.

Health funders, like KeyHealth, are classified as an essential service. However, companies were requested to, where possible, instruct their staff to work from home. This will help to curb the spread of the virus and lessen the impact on the health sector.

KeyHealth and PPSHA (our administrator) will comply with this request, while working to ensure continued service delivery to our members. Take note of the following important information regarding service delivery during the lockdown period:

  1. The KeyHealth Client Service Call Centre (0860 671 050) will be operational from Monday to Friday from 07:30 – 18:00. During the lockdown period, the call centre will not be operational on Saturdays. As many of our call centre agents will be working from home, we have put measures in place to ensure uninterrupted service delivery. However, we will require your patience in the event of technical difficulties.
    Our members can contact the Client Service Department via e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Chat to us in real-time using the Online Chat facility that is available from Monday to Friday from 07:30 – 18:00 on our website (
  2. The Hospital Pre-authorisation Call Centre (0860 671 060) will also be operational from Monday to Friday from 07:30 – 18:00. During this lockdown period the Hospital Pre-authorisation Call Centre will not be operational on Saturdays. As many of our call centre agents will be working from home, we have put measures in place to ensure uninterrupted service delivery. However, we will require your patience in the event of technical difficulties.
  3. All walk-in offices have been closed until further notice. Kindly contact us using the methods described above.
  4. We will continue processing all service providers’ and members’ claims during this time. Send all claims to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or via the KeyHealth mobi app. Claims sent via postal service will only be processed after the lockdown.
  5. Consult your 2020 Member Guide (insert link here) for a complete list of important contact information. Members will be able to contact our service providers (DENIS, MediKredit, OptiClear, etc.) during this time.
  6. Download your KeyHealth membership card from the KeyHealth mobi app here:

Over the past few days, KeyHealth has received numerous requests from members for the early supply and/or the extended supply of medication. MediKredit, who manages the pharmacy benefits of KeyHealth members, has assured us that there is an adequate supply of medication in the country and that there is no need for patients to stockpile medicine. The pharmaceutical industry role-players have agreed that only 30 days’ supply of medication will be granted. In exceptional cases, the request for an extended supply of medication will be considered in terms of the Rules of Medical Schemes.

It is important to note that all pharmacies will be open during the lockdown period. Most retail pharmacies offer a delivery service should you not want to leave home. The pharmacies have assured us that they have implemented the necessary protocols to cater for safe and efficient delivery of medication to members under these circumstances.

These are challenging times we live in and there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds for us all. You can rest assured that as your medical scheme, we have your best interests at heart and are committed to doing everything in our power to maintain “business as usual” as far as possible.

During this time, we will keep our members updated on all matters concerning COVID-19. Let us continue to act responsibly and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and safe. And remember, be smart and keep it simple!

Last updated at: Thursday, 26 March 2020 12:06 PM

Know the facts about COVID-19

The Health Department confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in South Africa on 5 March 2020 and announced that the first patient was well enough to go home after just three days of being quarantined. Since the news broke, there have been 61 confirmed cases. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national disaster on Sunday via a special address to the nation. In his speech he included travel bans from high-risk countries and advised that schools will close on 18 March until after the Easter holidays.

In response to the news, we at KeyHealth want to inform you, our member, how we will deal with this issue from a benefit perspective to provide you with peace of mind in this regard. Proper protocols are required to adequately deal with a pandemic like this and therefore we would like to inform you of what we have put in place to provide clarity.

If you believe that you may be at risk, you should consult with your General Practitioner (GP) immediately and isolate yourself and people living with you especially if you have recently returned from areas where cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Should you be referred by your GP as a candidate for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and you test positive, KeyHealth will fund the diagnostic testing from the Scheme’s risk benefit pool. Your GP will then advise you on the steps going forward and whether you need to be quarantined or hospitalised. It’s important to note, COVID-19 testing confirmed as negative will be funded from available savings and/or day-to-day benefits according to your specific benefit option. Diagnosis and management of uncomplicated COVID-19 infection is not included in the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs). In cases of uncomplicated COVID-19 infection where there are no PMB-eligible conditions, the Scheme will fund all health care costs as per the benefit allocation on your specific benefit option in terms of the Scheme Rules.

In cases where complications arise as a direct result of a COVID-19 infection, the treatment of these complications will be covered by the Scheme either by the normal benefits available to members on their specific benefit option or in terms of the PMBs.

We would  like to remind members that all our options include additional Health Booster benefits, on which a standard flu vaccination is available to all beneficiaries from the preventative care benefit. The overlap of the arrival of COVID-19 in South Africa with the seasonal influenza makes it more important to receive the flu vaccine during the specific flu season. Having a flu vaccination can build up your immunity against the strain of flu virus you’re vaccinated against and will not lower your immunity.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, global authorities, including World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recommends the good practice of hand hygiene (handwashing with soap and water) and cough etiquette.

We will continue to convey accurate information as and when necessary to promote a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated at: Thursday, 16 March 2020 13:15 PM

Medical Aid - How to Get Medical Aid When You Become an Adult

Here Is How to Get Medical Aid When You Become an Adult

to go without permission from your parents, being able to spend a day in your pyjamas without your mom telling you that you need to put on “real clothes”, buying the food you want at the grocery store, and eating cereal for dinner because you are too lazy to cook. The benefits of being an adult still outweigh the burden of responsibility but you cannot be an adult without taking on responsibilities like buying your own clothes, food, toiletries, and kitchenware. When you grow up, you start to understand why your mom became so angry when you lost your lunchbox or backpack. 

With growing up, you might have to do other adult things, such as:

  • Find a stable job or build an empire
  • Take out car insurance
  • Pay your own rent or mortgage
  • Pay student loans
  • Vote
  • Try to figure out how to get medical aid
  • Raise kids and pay school fees
  • Work out a budget
  • Start saving for retirement
  • Pay taxes
  • Build a good credit record
  • Wash and iron your own clothes
  • Learn how to change a tyre


Do not worry, there are a lot of people who can help guide you through the adult world. While we cannot help you when it comes to your taxes, we can tell you how you can get your own medical aid through KeyHealth. 

Think About What You Need from Your Medical Aid and How Much You Are Willing to Spend

If you are still quite young, chances are that you will opt for a basic plan like our Essence option, which will provide you with the basic cover you need as a new adult without breaking the bank. A few benefits you get are:

  • Your treatment-related costs at any Life Healthcare or Netcare hospital will be paid in full.
  • Prescribed Minimum Benefits – meaning you get cover for emergency medical treatment, 25 chronic illnesses defined in the Chronic Disease List, and a limited 270 medical conditions, which are defined in the Diagnosis Treatment Pairs.
  • Medication prescribed for you to use continuously for one of the 26 CDL (Chronic Disease List) conditions for three months or more.


We recommend that you do your research to see if it will cover your needs. If you do not feel like reading a lot, you can speak to a representative who will be able to discuss your requirements with you, discuss the best options for you and give you more information on the different options available from KeyHealth.

How to Get Medical Aid Through KeyHealth

  • You can complete our online application form, which will not take you longer than five minutes, and one of our representatives will contact you to discuss your needs and options.
  • If you have a bit more time, you can complete our new-membership request form online and get a quote.


Becoming an adult can be hard but it does not have to be. Take it one new responsibility at a time and start by getting your own medical aid through KeyHealth.

Medical Aid Plans 2020 - Why Medical Aid Plans Are Crucial

Why Medical Aid Plans Are Crucial for the Young and The Adventurous in 2020

Being healthy does not mean the absence of disease. Life is unpredictable and we rarely plan for the unexpected. Even in 2020, many people do not think that they need a medical aid, until they do. Many people in their twenties frequent bars and clubs, often staying out late drinking and even taking recreational drugs. While some use ride-hailing services, many drive under the influence. Even if you don’t, you have to be aware of other drivers who have. 

If you are a young adventure-seeker and like doing things like bungee jumping, skydiving, rock climbing, free climbing, and mountain biking, you need medical aid. The unexpected costs associated with getting injured can cost you money you could have spent buying yourself a car or going on that 2020 overseas trip. Illness and accidents are not just reserved for older generations. Given the choice, many young people would rather use the money they would have spent on medical aid plans on more fun things like socialising with friends or their Wi-Fi and many, unfortunately, do. 

It is hard to make decisions based on what you want in the future when it conflicts with what you want now. This is partly because the future seems far away. Regardless of your age, in 2020, the impact of not being on one of the available medical aid plans could be dire. While we cannot live life in fear of all the bad things that could happen, we still need to prepare for the future, so that we do not have regrets later. 

Take care of your future self by taking out one of the KeyHealth medical aid plans in 2020. It doesn't have to cost a fortune and you will still be able to afford your coffee and go out with friends. There are several KeyHealth options that can give you the cover you need to live your life and have fun while being protected in the event of an unexpected emergency.

Medical Scheme - 6 Tips for Choosing a Medical Scheme

6 Tips for Choosing a Medical Scheme

With the rising cost of healthcare, it is not a question of whether you get cover, but rather what type of cover you should get. South Africans have a wide range of choices available to them, and each service provider offers numerous products. The problem is that it is often a tedious process that is shrouded in industry jargon. How do you go about choosing a medical scheme? Here are some tips to help you along:

1. Check Your Budget

Healthcare cover can be a significant expense, depending on the service you require and the size of your family. It can be tempting to choose a more expensive option because of perceived additional benefits; however, it is important that you stick to your budget and choose options within the range you have planned on. Ultimately, the cover you can afford is more valuable than the sacrifice of living beyond your means.

2. Consider Your Health Status

Base your cover choice on your own medical needs. Different healthcare options exist to meet different needs. When choosing a scheme, look for one that covers the conditions or services you are most likely to use, such as dental care, eye care, or pregnancy support.

3. Comprehensive Cover Vs. Hospital Cover

This goes hand in hand with the two points directly above. Remember that you have a choice between full cover or hospital cover only when choosing a medical scheme. Hospital cover is more affordable, but does not cover day-to-day expenses. This is a good option for those who are in good health, but want to be prepared for the instance they need to go to hospital.

4. Study the Benefits Closely

This might sound very obvious, but take the time to carefully go through all the benefits included in a plan when choosing a medical scheme. There is usually quite a bit of literature to go through, and it is not always the most exciting read. Take your time though, and ask questions if anything is unclear.

5. Find Out Whether There Are Exclusions

Upon joining a new medical aid, certain exclusions may apply in the first few months. This is especially applicable to those joining for the first time, or who have not come directly from another scheme. Make sure you are aware of these when choosing a plan.

6. Confirm the Overall Cover Limits

Even comprehensive plans do not provide limitless cover. Check and make sure you understand what limits apply to various services and conditions. This is especially applicable if you are choosing a medical scheme for a family. Do the limits apply to each individual on the plan, or to the family as a whole? This could make a huge difference to the cover you enjoy.

It can be daunting choosing a medical aid scheme. But it does not have to be. KeyHealth strives to simplify the process, making your options clear and facilitating quick and easy claims. Why? Because your health should not be compromised by red tape and industry jargon. If you need help in choosing a medical scheme, simply click on “Join Now” to compare our products, or talk to one of our team members. We will gladly answer all your questions and help you make the choice that fits you perfectly.

Medical Aid - Medical Aid Advice for Families

Medical Aid Advice for Families

Your family’s health is one of the most important and valuable things to care for and protect. Yet, while we all do our best to avoid it, ailments and accidents do cross our path from time to time. When it does, you would want the peace of mind that your family has access to the necessary care or treatment in order to facilitate their swift return to health. The good news is that South Africans have many medical aid options available to them, and the best advice would be to make use of these. The challenge, however, is finding the one that is right for you and your family.

Here is some basic medical aid advice to help you when choosing health cover for your family:

Consider Your Health Needs

Each and every family is different. We all have different lifestyles, are exposed to different environments, and have different health statuses. This should form the basis of your main consideration for which medical aid option to choose. The best advice is to see what health services and treatments you are most likely to make use of, and to then find a health scheme option that covers this. Maybe dental work is important, or eye care. Perhaps you are expecting a baby, or someone in your family has a chronic ailment. Do not pay for cover you do not need – choose the option that serves your family’s needs best.

Check the Cover Limits of The Medical Aid

This is very important advice, as cover limits are a feature that can easily be overlooked or misinterpreted. No scheme provides limitless cover, so make sure you know and understand what the limits are on the healthcare options you are considering. Are there cover limits on hospital stays? What about specialist appointments, or chronic medication? Also, make sure whether these limits apply to each individual or the family as a whole. This could make a world of difference, especially if your family were to be involved in an accident together.

Are You Happy with The Scheme’s Preferred Hospital Network?

To help keep costs as low as possible, many medical aids require you to use selected doctors, healthcare providers, and hospital networks within their network. Usually, this is not a problem at all. However, make sure that the selected service providers are conveniently located for your needs, and that you are comfortable with the healthcare providers you need to make use of.

Added Benefits

Another sound piece of advice is to see what value-added products and services are included by your medical aid provider. A medical aid, such as KeyHealth, for example, offers family friendly features, such as:

  1. Smart Baby – Providing support to expecting and new mothers
  2. Health Booster – Offers preventative care and screening features to keep your family healthy
  3. Easy-ER – Provides direct access to a hospital's emergency room for medical treatment in emergency situations without any hassle or unexpected fees


For more useful medical aid advice, browse the KeyHealth website or contact us to talk to one of our friendly consultants. We will gladly answer your questions and assist you however we can.