While healthcare has always been costly, recent technological advances, new medications, and higher accommodation costs and salaries for specialised medical staff have been driving its price even higher in recent decades. Given the struggle faced by state-funded hospitals and clinics to meet increased patient volumes despite chronic underfunding, dependence upon the private healthcare sector has grown. To fund their treatment, the majority of private patients must seek financial assistance. To obtain such help, you need to be aware of what you will need in order to apply for medical aid.
Overall, the requirements are not particularly difficult to comply with, but they can vary according to the personal circumstances of a prospective member. Naturally, whatever your circumstances, the enrolment process will require you to complete the application form of whichever scheme you have selected. Whether it is a group scheme, also described as a closed scheme, or of the open type offered to the self-employed and others ineligible for group membership, some supporting documentation will also be required.
In effect, these simply serve to confirm certain personal details provided in the application. Typically, what you are likely to need, as confirmation to apply for membership of a medical aid scheme, will relate to the identity and status of yourself, as the main member, and of each dependent member you may also wish to receive cover.
If you have been a member of a scheme within three months prior to the application date, attaching a membership certificate or sworn affidavit confirming the details will avoid a late joining fee, as well as the usual mandatory three-month waiting period for cover to commence, applicable to first-time members. Identity checks are necessary to eliminate fraud, as is some proof of your finances. For such purposes, what the scheme will need you to provide when you apply for medical aid is a certified copy of your ID document, your tax number, and either a bank statement, a cancelled cheque, or a confirmation letter from your bank.
If dependents are to be included in your application, proof of their relationship to you and/or their dependency on you will also need to be submitted. If you are married and require cover for a spouse or civil partner, a copy of your marriage certificate will be required. In the event that you may be obliged, under a divorce settlement, to provide adult or spousal support, it will then be necessary to submit a copy of the settlement agreement.
Similar proof is required to substantiate your relationship to any minor dependents. For them, what you will need are birth certificates or adoption papers to apply for them to be included under your medical aid membership. Some schemes may be willing to provide child rates for dependents beyond the normal age limit of twenty-one, providing they are studying full-time and without an independent income. Where applicable, you will need to submit proof of his or her registration at a recognised institution for tertiary education.
Though not a complex process, not all schemes make their conditions sufficiently clear, and so, some applicants choose to use a broker. Others have learned that what you need most to apply for medical aid is the simplicity and transparency offered by KeyHealth.