As the year starts and many of us perforce review our budgets, here is a useful guide on affordable medical aid schemes in South Africa to help cut your budget this year. There are a bewildering array of options to choose from, and this can sometimes cause us to make cost-ineffective choices. Like home-security, it could seem like a grudge purchase, but it is all about reducing risk, and with medical aids under unprecedented financial and legislative pressure, premiums aren’t getting any cheaper. It all comes down to ensuring a good bang for your buck and spreading your safety net as widely as financially possible. Medical inflation in South Africa is mainly driven by unnecessary hospital admissions, pathology services and over-medication.
How much do you know about the fine print and inner workings of your medical scheme? Here are some important facts on medical schemes in South Africa.
Since the year 2000 till now, the number of open schemes in South Africa has decreased by 24 from 47. There are now only 23 open medical schemes in South Africa, to which anyone can belong. Many smaller schemes have fused, making them less prone to market volatility. Almost 59% of principal members covered by medical schemes, belong to open schemes. The other 41% are on restricted schemes.
So how does one find an affordable medical aid scheme in South Africa to cut your budget this year? Firstly you can make use of Likemoney.co.za which compares medical schemes rated by the South African public. According to a survey conducted with Likemoney users, the most favoured medical scheme currently is Day1 Health. Day1 Health offers a hospital plan with medical aid day-to-day benefits. They were established in 2003, they pride themselves on providing the South African market with an affordable and sustainable health insurance solution for the uninsured market, who represent 85% of the population. Day1 Health was the first Non-Medical Aid’ product provider to join a Pre-Paid Preventative Health Care solution for primary day to day care to a stated benefit hospital plan.