We are all only too aware of the high cost of healthcare in South Africa. And high premiums in 2020 are no exception.
Many people are considering self-insuring for medical expenses.
However, this method exposes them to a great financial threat!
According to a research paper in the SA Medical Journal, “The cost per patient day in the two ICUs was R22 870.” PER DAY!
That included trauma and combined neurosurgical, medical and surgical treatment.
A week in ICU could be R 160,000.
After that, you need to add the costs of recovery wards and treatments.
Can you afford to pay for this?
Another direct consequence of high medical costs is that, with no medical cover, hospitals will demand a substantial deposit from you upon admission.
Do you have that cash at hand?
Some schemes even offer income-related premiums.
The contribution is based on your income and generally, network plans are the lowest premium forms of medical cover.
However, the network of providers may be unsuitable for you to use, as they may be situated a long way from you. That can lead to significant transport costs in order to see them.
By design, these plans do have a high number of exclusions - like no joint replacements, specialised dentistry, hiatus hernia treatment and more.
These procedures are expensive and you will have to pay for them.
Overall, if you accept the use of specific providers, they do offer great value at a reasonable cost.
Private hospitalisation can be a life-changing expense!
We don’t know when we will need to go to hospital, how long that may be for or what it will cost.
The only way to ensure the finest hospital care is by joining a medical aid hospital plan.
There are hospital insurance plans available, however they are really a “last resort” to consider.
They cannot compare to a hospital only, medical plan!
Try not to join a plan that has a maximum annual limit.
Although it may be cheaper, it is too much of a risk for you and your family.
Day-to-day costs can be controlled by paying them yourself, especially if you are healthy and don’t need to use medical providers that often.
Or, create your own savings fund, that is independent of medical aid.
Save in a bank account, or add to an access type bond and use that when you have high costs to meet.
Saving in a home bond has significant future benefits for you, least of all shortening your bond term and saving you huge interest!
You can then use these monies as you want and not be restricted as with your savings in a medical plan.
Yes, the medical schme does offer savings fund credit upfront and it takes time for your own fund to grow.
But after a relatively short time, you will be way better off with free access to your monies.
By investing the "saved" premium of a lower-cost hospital plan – compared to a comprehensive medical plan – you may be able to create your savings fund at no added costs to you!
You may also be able to pay for a vital Gap/Top up plan from this “saved” premium?
Now, this idea becomes very attractive!
There is a plan that pays unlimited private hospitalisation - at any provider you want.
And they pay essential dental costs as well, further reducing your worry about self-funding out of hospital costs!
They have many other significant benefits for you to consider. They:
There are other ideas you can look at, when considering what to do for medical aid in 2020.
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Last update: April 6, 2021
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Medical Aid Authority Peter Pyburn.
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