South Africa is a world leader when it comes to the protection of human rights in its Constitution. One of these basic human rights that are protected by law, is the right to have access to healthcare services. Section 27 of the Constitution specifically makes provision for this right to healthcare access and further stipulates that no one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
The Challenge of Healthcare Access
The problem, however, arises from the level of healthcare services that are available to the general public. While our private healthcare sector is one of the best in the world today, the public healthcare system leaves much to be desired in terms of funding, infrastructure, and timely response. Unfortunately, up to 82% of South Africans – or 45 million people – fall outside of medical aid cover and are thus dependent on this overburdened public health system.
The reason for this is mainly due to the fact that private healthcare is exceptionally costly in a country where poverty and inequality are rife. Access to proper healthcare is thus often reliant on membership to a medical aid scheme. The problem is that many individuals consider the medical aid options available to them as also too expensive to afford.
The Truth: You Can Get Affordable Medical Aid Cover
The perception that medical aid cover is too expensive is not always true. Sure, some comprehensive and premium plans by certain service providers are very costly, but there are also many options to cater to all groups. It’s very important to realise that it is indeed possible to get affordable medical aid cover that can assist you to access the healthcare you need and deserve.
The Key is to Understand the Comparison of Medical Aid Options
It can be tempting to want to simply choose the most comprehensive option because we are talking about your health here, and your health is more valuable than anything else. However, this is usually also the most expensive option, and most of us realise that this is not a practical solution. Finding an affordable medical aid plan to suit your unique healthcare needs and usage takes some dedication to the subject matter but is entirely possible.
How to Effectively Approach Medical Aid Comparison
With a multitude of medical aid schemes – each offering their own extensive range of plans – choosing a suitable medical aid plan can be daunting. However, there are some steps you can follow to help you find affordable medical aid cover that meets your needs. Instead of trying to cover all of the options and compare them all at the same time, start with these steps:
Start with your budget
The most important factor when you are looking for an affordable medical aid plan is not to try and make it fit into your budget, but to first determine what you can afford according to your budget. Only when you’ve determined this, can you begin comparing medical aid plans that fall within this price range. Ultimately, a medical aid plan is supposed to make your medical care more affordable. If you cannot afford your medical aid premiums, it completely defeats the purpose. In the end, you might simply end up losing your medical aid cover if you’ve chosen an option that is unaffordable, and that money would have gone to waste.
List your medical needs
Next, you want to determine where your main medical needs – and thus medical expenses – lie. This will vary greatly from person to person. Some of us have families with children who might need regular doctor’s visits for colds, flu, scrapes, and cuts. In this case, a medical aid option with a day-to-day benefit would be most suited to our needs. Some might require chronic ailment treatment and regular specialist visits. Others, again, might generally be quite healthy, but need a backup plan to cover the exorbitant costs of hospitalisation in case of an accident. Only you will know the needs of your family, so make a list of this and prioritise the needs to see which benefits are most important in a medical aid plan.
Realise that it isn’t important for everything to be covered
Some medical aid plans are more affordable because they exclude certain conditions or services from their cover. This is why step 2 is so important. Now that you know which needs are essential, you can choose an option that provides cover for that while excluding other conditions in order to find a more affordable solution that still meets your needs.
Don’t get side-tracked by non-essential benefits
Many medical aid schemes offer a host of value-add benefits that aren’t central to the healthcare cover they provide. While a gym membership, discounted travel tickets, or extra loyalty points at your favourite retailer might seem tempting, they won’t pay your medical bills. These are all features that are nice-to-haves, not must-haves. When it comes to getting affordable medical aid cover, you want a plan that is going to provide the coverage you need when you need it.
The KeyHealth Solution: Making Medical Aid Comparison Easy
At KeyHealth, we realise how daunting it can be to compare the multitude of medical aid options out there. So, we go out of our way to make it as easy as possible for you to compare medical aids and choose the affordable option that is right for you. We steer away from confusing jargon as much as possible and feature a handy option to compare our products online, based on your life stage and medical needs.
If you’re looking for affordable medical aid cover that meets the medical needs of you and your family, get in touch with the team at KeyHealth immediately, and let us guide you through the process of choosing the option that is right for you.