The Truth about Hospital Cash Back Plans
March 14, 2016
Ask anyone who has endured and survived a terrible illness and they will tell you that good health is the most treasured gift you can have. It should never be taken for granted. Hospital cash back plans go a long way to lessening the pain of unexpected hospitalisation.
Many South Africans may no longer be able to afford medical aid but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other kinds of cover, even if they offer less protection. One of these options worth looking at are hospital plans and hospital cash back plans.
What Are Hospital Cash Back Plans
There are similarities between the various health care insurance products but there are differences you should know regarding medical aid, a hospital plan and hospital cash plans.
- Medical aid is the ultimate choice if you can afford it because it contributes toward a variety of medical expenses you may have to endure. It will usually cover things like hospitalisation, doctors visits and day to day medical expenses. Everybody would ideally love to have medical aid but precious few South Africans can afford it.
- Hospital Cash Back Cover – when you land up in hospital for a specific period of time, with hospital cash back cover you get a cash lump sum paid to you. You can use the money for medical expenses if you like or for any other expenses that are not medical related. You can get as much as R 5 000 a day while in hospital and your payout lasts for a maxium of 90 days. A disadvantage with a hospital cash back plan is that they are essentially meant to be a supplementary feature to your medical aid. The money may well not be enough to cover your loss of income AND your medical bills. An excellent advantage however, is that a percentage of your premiums are paid back to you if you don’t make a claim over a set period of time. Most schemes offer a 15-20% cash back payout if no claims are made over a certain period – usually 3-5 years.
- Hospital plan – This type of cover typically contributes towards the bills that are directly related to your hospitalisation. All medical schemes offer hospital plans and hospital plans offered as part of a comprehensive medical aid cover offer more benefits than the stand-alone plans Selfmed offers good cover at an affordable price. For instance for just over R1 300 you can get unlimited hospital cover, which can really give you peace of mind that you’re covered at 100% of prescribed medical aid rates. You will still need to cover your day-to-day medical expenses. Hospital plans are available in 2 forms – included in a wider medical aid scheme or as a separate insurance policy. This kind of insurance is massively useful when you’re faced with enormous hospital bills. By providing coverage, hospital plans might be considered as one-up on hospital cash back plans.
Hospital Cash Back Plans – Don’t Be Misled
Misunderstanding surrounds cash-back hospital plans, with many people assuming they are an affordable medical fund, which it isn’t. These plans fall under the Short- or Long Term Insurance Act and they aren’t regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes. As an insurance product, it will pay the beneficiary a sum for each day in hospital, with cover mostly starting on the 3rd day.
Hospital plans are different from hospital cash back plans. They cover a number of medications , but they don’t cover visits to the doctor. The South African Government has made it that certain drugs and medications be covered by all hospital plans. Hospital plans aren’t standard – you have to do research with them, read the provisions and decide whether you will benefit from it or not.
When you compare a hospital cash back plan with a hospital plan, you can’t just say hospital cash back plans are the better choice. One feature of one particular plan may charm one person but not someone else. Most hospital plans won’t cover your entire hospital bill – their appeal lies in the fact that they are cheap.
Call and Get Clearance
Confused about which medical care plan to choose from? Do some research yourself, but if you require additional assistance, each legitimate and reputable medical scheme has specially trained experts who are standing by ready to answer all your queries. You can email them or call them and they will explain to you which is the best plan to go ahead with and which is suited to your unique lifestyle.
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All info was correct at time of publishing