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The Importance of Medical Aid for Your Family


One should never underestimate the value of good health, yet many of us fail to do so until the day that illness strikes. For minor conditions like colds and flu, we can manage with some fairly inexpensive over-the-counter remedy from a local pharmacy, a hot drink, and a good night’s sleep. However, the importance of medical aid for your family and yourself could quickly become only too apparent in the wake of a motor vehicle accident or a heart attack. Imagine you have no such protection. Could you afford to pay a large sum in order to cover the cost of hospitalisation and surgery?

It is not only to help them deal with such costly emergencies that it is necessary for South Africans to invest in some form of private healthcare insurance. In this respect, one should not underestimate the importance of medical aid for your family if one of them happens to suffer from a chronic illness. The cost of regular treatment, monitoring, and medication can, in many cases, amount to a substantial sum over the course of a year, and this could place a severe strain on the average monthly budget. Since 1998, all schemes in South Africa are required to provide certain prescribed minimum benefits. These include covering the full cost of the diagnosis, treatment, and care of 25 named chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, haemophilia, and multiple sclerosis.

Consequently, the importance of understanding the difference between genuine medical aid for your family and the kind of cover provided by the hospital cash plans available from insurance companies cannot be overemphasised. Firstly, the insurers are under no obligation to offer their clients any of the minimum prescribed benefits. More importantly, however, a hospital cash plan pays a fixed sum for each day the insured is hospitalised and falls far short of meeting the actual cost of accommodation and treatment. For the rest of the year, these plans provide no benefits.

Unless you are independently wealthy, the importance of medical aid for your family is a given. Nevertheless, to maintain the cover it provides, you must be able to meet the monthly premium payments. To cater for the needs of as many members as possible, schemes offer a number of different products, each with its own benefits which, in turn, tend to determine the cost of the related monthly premiums.

A scheme’s product range will often include a hospital plan, which, in most cases, only applies while a member is hospitalised and provides cover based on the actual expense incurred during that time. Of particular importance is that this type of medical aid product is not suitable for your family, but is actually aimed at young, single individuals who enjoy good general health, and who only require financial support in the event of a costly emergency that could see them hospitalised.

Of the schemes currently operating in South Africa, few have been around as long, and even fewer have understood the importance of medical aid for your family as well as KeyHealth. The proof lies not only in its competitive premiums, transparent terms, and reputation for fair and prompt settlements, but also in its unique yet free core benefits, such as Easy ER.