Medical Aid in South Africa

What is Medical Aid? Who offers Medical Aid in South Africa

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Medical aid is another example of insurance and is a financial cover for medical treatment and medical expenses. Nowadays employers require employees to have medical aid. If you do not have one, the company will help you join. In most companies, the company contributes a certain portion towards your medical and you pay the rest each month. For example, if you are sick and need treatment, you will be able to use your medical aid to cover your financial treatment or related medical expenses such as pills, meds etc.

All medical aids are ruled by the Medical Schemes Act. This act makes sure that there’s fair and transparency in the medical industry. There are more than 20 different medical schemes that one can choose from.

A basic medical aid cover features a small set of benefits such as chronic conditions and in-hospital treatment. However, if you chose a comprehensive medical aid plan, medical expenses such as prescribed medication, dental treatment and GP visits are covered.

How to choose the right medical aid plan

  • Compare Medical Aid Schemes

There are many medical aid schemes that one can choose from. You need to compare the benefits and also check if it is a legit medical aid.

  • Consider your budget and needs

Check your budget as well as your medical aid needs. Also check if the plan is for single, married couple with or without children. Also check your life stage and if you can afford to pay every month. This is important, check with the medical aid company if you need more information.

  • Medical aid waiting period

You must know that medical aids have a waiting period after you joined. You cannot join today and expect to be covered for medical needs the following day. Some medical scheme companies have a waiting period of between one and three months before they start paying for your medical expenses. Read the medical aid policy before signing up so that you avoid confusion.

Basics of Medical Schemes

A basic medical aid plan covers for healthcare needs such as dental treatment, surgery, hospital accommodation and nursing. Remember, you pay for medical aid contributions every month.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why do I need a medical aid?

Medical aid protects you financially. In case of a medical emergency, you won’t have to stress about paying hospital bills and treatment because your medical aid scheme has already taken care of it. Having a medical aid also helps you to access private medical care instead of heavenly replying on public hospitals.

  • How do I choose a medical aid scheme?

There are many legal medical aid schemes that one can choose from depending on the country. Some medical schemes are not open to the public. They are only limited to employer groups. You can ask the medical aid company to give you more information on this.

  • Disadvantages of a medical aid

Medical aid is expensive and they increase every year. If you live in the villages, you might not easily access private health care services for many reasons. Sometimes there are some payments that need to be made before the hospital proceeds with your treatment. There are many hidden costs that come with medical aid schemes but they don’t tell you about them. Some treatment will require you to pay more and your medical aid only pays a small amount.

  • Top medical aid schemes in South Africa

These companies are listed in no particular order:

  • Resolution Health Medical Scheme
  • Discovery Health Medical Scheme
  • Momentum Health Medical Scheme
  • Fedhealth Medical Scheme
  • Medihelp Medical Scheme
  • Bonitas Medical Scheme
  • Oxygen Medical Scheme
  • Profmed Medical Scheme
  • Genesis Medical Scheme

Image Courtesy: hippo.co.za

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