Tread Carefully when Looking for Cheap Medical Aid
When looking for cheap medical aid there is a real danger that this is precisely what you could end up with. The cost of healthcare, both in the public and private sectors, is high and continues to rise, thus creating a dilemma for the healthcare insurers. While there are certainly exceptions, in order to maintain affordable premiums, quite a few of the nation’s fund managers have sought to maintain their economic viability by the simple expedient of compromising on the benefits that they extend to their members. Whereas, in some cases, such compromises may have only a minimal impact, depending upon a member’s state of health, they could have more serious consequences.
Clearly then, when looking for cheap medical aid what the consumer really needs to look out for is value for money and not just bargain basement prices. Ultimately, of course, there will be a limit to what the majority of members are able to spend on private healthcare cover. For those in formal employment, this is often bolstered by their employer’s contribution. However, for the self-employed or for those whose employers do not offer membership of a group scheme, making the best possible choice can be crucial. To ensure the best possible choice will therefore entail striking an acceptable balance between the benefits offered and the premiums charged by a given scheme.
When looking for cheap medical aid, a reasonable first step is to investigate several providers and to make a list of those of their products whose premiums fall within your available monthly budget. Next, you will need to perform a need assessment. This should be based upon your general state of health and that of any family members that you wish to be covered by the scheme, while also making provision for emergencies.
In practice, a young person of sound health and able to cope with any out-of-pocket expenses might well find that a hospital plan is the ideal choice, offering peace of mind in the event of a costly emergency. However, families looking for cheap medical aid would be ill-advised to settle for such a product, even though it is by far the cheapest option as it only provides cover during periods of hospitalisation. At all other times, the cost of services, such as outpatient attention, GP and specialist visits, dentistry, optometry and prescribed medicines, will in most cases be for the member’s account.
Anyone suffering from a chronic illness, such as diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension, MS or Parkinson’s, could find the cost of medication crippling. With year-long comprehensive products, mandatory prescribed minimum benefits include full cover for treatment of these and 20 other chronic conditions – one thing you won’t need to worry about even when looking for cheap medical aid.
Throughout your evaluation, focus on the clinical benefits. Pay attention to the percentage of the expense covered and the annual limits set for each. Try not to be too influenced by non-core benefits, such as loyalty schemes and discounted entertainments – there is no such thing as a free lunch. Read the small print and enquire about anything that’s not clear.
For a far simpler option, just talk to us at KeyHealth. Our straightforward, exceptionally comprehensive products are totally healthcare oriented, yet competitively priced – perfect when looking for cheap medical aid.