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Having proper medical aid cover is ‘n huge benefit to have; especially since you never know when you will need it. There are many medical aid schemes in South Africa and they all have different benefits and pricing structures available; which is why you should always compare plans and benefits before you choose a plan for you or your family.
When it comes to choosing a medical aid plan, people often go for the cheapest possible option. This is because money is often tight and medical aids can be very expensive to have. However, choosing the cheapest medical aid is not always the best option to go with. Compare plans first, and see what the benefits are vs. what you are paying for. Value for money is essential, and this does not always mean the cheapest plan is the best one. Hospital plans are probably the most basic plans that any medical aid offers and this will surely cover you in hospital, but not all procedures will be covered, and you won’t be able to stay in hospital indefinitely. Most of these plans have only certain procedures included, and you are only allowed a certain number of days in hospital, after which it will be for your own account. This is important to know, because you will have to be responsible for additional bills if you are not covered.
Another issue would be for people that are in need of chronic medication. Not all medical aid plans will provide for chronic medication and you will need to know this prior to signing up. If your plan does not cover chronic medication, you will have to pay for this out of your own pocket every month, which can be quite expensive. Choosing the cheapest medical aid might mean that you can end up in hospital and find out that your medical aid will not cover a certain procedure. This is not something that you would want to go through and it is very important to rather choose a plan that works for you. Also make sure that the medical aid that you choose is registered with the Council for Medical Schemes. This will ensure that they are a reputable scheme that needs to adhere to the Medical Schemes Act and treat you fairly. Registered medical aids will have a reasonable pricing structure and a high level of customer service. They will also be trustworthy and have enough funds available to cover all their clients.
Choosing a medical aid plan is definitely not easy. Although you need to keep your budget in mind, choose your plan carefully and weigh the monthly premiums against the benefits that you will receive. Do not necessarily go for the cheapest medical aid available as this might come back to haunt you at some point in time. Always make sure that you go with a reputable company that will cover you for the procedures or conditions that you require them to.