Private healthcare is not cheap and its costs continue to escalate yearly. While most of the schemes that South Africans rely upon for financial assistance in meeting those costs do their level best to find ways in which to cap their premiums, increases are often the only option. The result has been that the average citizen is finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the medical aid they need at rates that are sufficiently affordable.
For some, the solution has been to compromise, and to forfeit the offer of more extensive cover in favour of only protecting themselves from the impact of the more costly contingencies. Based on an idea first conceived by the insurance industry, most of the country’s medical schemes now offer the type of product known as a hospital plan. By far the cheapest form of private healthcare cover available, most of these provide only for those expenses incurred whilst a member is receiving attention as an inpatient.
However, despite the fact that membership of a hospital plan is a way to obtain medical aid at the most affordable rates currently available, all cover will normally cease once a member is discharged from hospital. Such products were originally intended for young, single individuals with sound general health, and for whom the cost of an occasional visit to a GP and perhaps some prescription medication should pose no problem. It is, therefore, only the far greater and possibly crippling cost of an emergency surgery for which they provide cover.
For a couple with small children, however, a hospital plan will offer them no financial help should they have a child who may be in constant need of paediatric attention as an outpatient, or should one of the parents suffer from a chronic illness, such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They, nevertheless, may still need medical aid at affordable rates.
Different schemes approach this requirement in different ways, and one of the most common is to simply lower the cap on some of their benefits. In other words, they will offer you less cover in exchange for keeping your premiums to a minimum. The question posed by this strategy is, of course, whether you and your dependents can actually afford this form of economy. The best way to decide this is to look back at your healthcare history while also attempting to anticipate any possible future requirements. These might be grommets for an infant who suffers from repeated ear infections or orthodontic treatments for a daughter with overcrowded dentition, for example.
The policy adopted by KeyHealth to ensure medical aid products at affordable rates relies not on reducing benefits, but on the more expedient approach of keeping costs down. This it achieves by appointing preferred service providers who then agree to reduce their charges in exchange for the resulting increase in their patient numbers. Selected for their record of sound service, this ensures KeyHealth members get quality treatment, as well as top value for money.
Using the experience gained from more than half a century in the industry, KeyHealth has compiled a range of medical aid products at affordable rates without compromising members’ cover or quality of service. Furthermore, all products include a number of valuable core benefits absolutely free.