With National Health Insurance still a long way away from being a reality in South Africa, many of us are looking for more cost-effective ways to protect ourselves when it comes to our health.
Even cheaper medical aid cover is not affordable for many South Africans, with the most basic plans already costing in excess of R1000 per member per month. For such individuals, there are other solutions – let’s take a look at a few of these options. These cheaper alternatives will not provide comprehensive cover, but they will provide cover in certain instances, depending on the option chosen. And for those of us who enjoy relatively good health, they might be sufficient, and provide adequate peace of mind and security.
Primary healthcare policies
These cover basic primary healthcare needs such as GP and dentist visits. Depending on which option is chosen, they might also cover medication and certain chronic conditions or critical illness. They usually require the member to be treated only by network-approved service providers. There are no prescribed minimum benefits or cover for hospital visits. Premiums for older individuals are usually higher.
Suitable for: individuals who spend a lot on day-to-day healthcare expenses, rather than needing hospital cover.
Hospital plans and cash back policies
A hospital plan provides cover towards your admission, stay, doctors' bills, and other costs incurred during hospital visits only.
Hospital cash back policies pay out either a lump sum or a daily amount while you are in hospital – usually for a minimum stay of three days. These policies sometimes also provide the option for accident cover or dread disease cover.
Suitable for: individuals who have general good health and do not require day-to-day cover, and just want cover for unexpected emergencies.
Unlike the options above, gap cover is designed to provide extra protection for those who already have medical aid. It covers the amount you would have been required to pay in as a co-payment.
Suitable for: individuals who have medical aid, but are worried that their cover is not sufficient, and who do not want to have to pay in any deficits.
Before making a decision on which of the above options is most suitable, the following should be clearly established:
Tip: Some people choose to set up a regular savings account and put money away each month, for in case of a medical emergency. However, this option is only effective if strict discipline is used, and even then, the cover may be insufficient in the case of a car accident, terminal illness, etc.
HOW NMG CAN HELP
Your employees cannot power a healthy business if they are not empowered to maintain their own health first.
NMG Benefits works in partnership with you to enhance and maintain the well-being and health of your employees for maximum productivity at minimum expense. We specialise in the evaluation, selection, implementation and risk management of medical schemes from a range of healthcare and wellness providers to ensure optimum, best value cover for your employees. This extends to coverage and insurance for staff members operating outside of South Africa’s borders as well.