The Hospital Plan – An Inexpensive Alternative to Comprehensive Medical Aid?
When times are tough and the personal budget is a little tight, the last thing one needs is to be faced with a crippling bill for treatment as the result of an accident or essential surgery. However, without some form of private healthcare cover, this is a possibility that one would simply have to live with.
The monthly contributions to a medical aid fund, however, can also be a burden, especially for a young person in their first job and perhaps faced with the common expenses of rent and payments on a car. Although it may not be the best solution for a family, the hospital plan is able to provide a welcome buffer against those huge treatment bills for a younger, single person who is fortunate enough to be blessed with good general health.
As the name implies, this form of financial assistance with healthcare expenses is restricted to those periods during which a member is receiving treatment as an in-patient and, in most cases, the support will cease on the day that they are discharged. For the remainder of any given year, in most cases, this means that all other related expenses such as visits to a general practitioner or a dentist and any prescription charges that may arise must be paid from the member’s own pocket.
By contrast, a comprehensive medical aid product is less limited than the average hospital plan in that it provides cover for the full year of membership. However, the total sums claimable in a given year will generally be governed by annual limits set on each of the contingencies covered. With this type of cover, funds will generally offer members a choice of products and their benefits will tend to vary in line with the monthly premiums charged.
Recognising the needs of those with limited finances, KeyHealth has developed a more affordable product range. It includes an entry-level option based upon a hospital plan but providing certain year-round benefits of more comprehensive medical aid products, like basic dentistry.