Hospital Plans Compared to Hospital Insurance
Hospital plans are worth looking at because they are far more affordable than a medical aid. They are a type of cover provided by a medical scheme which falls under the Council for Medical Schemes. But what are hospital plans compared to hospital insurance?
With a hospital plan, you have cover for your stint in the hospital. You will have to cover the day-to-day costs. Hospital plans also cover medication for 27 chronic conditions or PMBs. Medical aid schemes and their hospital plans are not insurance as they are non-profit.
Hospital insurance isn’t a medical aid. It provides you with cash benefits while you are in the hospital due to illness or injury. Hospital insurance does not fall under the Council for Medical Schemes but rather by the Financial Services Act. It doesn’t cover PMBs, but it can include Accident risk cover for instance.
Hospital Plans Compared to Hospital Insurance – There’s Always a Shortfall Somewhere
Hospital plans differ with each scheme but include cover for in-hospital procedures. You have cover for your expenses but within the limits of the particular plan. That means that you will have to cover most of the other out of hospital costs. That is when people look at gap cover to help them with these shortfalls.
Hospital Plans Compared to Hospital Insurance – It’s not all Hunky Dory
There is a difference between a hospital plan and hospital insurance. Hospital insurance will pay you a cash amount for every day that you are in the hospital. The insurance company will pay the amount directly to the insured and is not tax-deductible. A drawback with hospital insurance is that it doesn’t usually kick in till the 3rd day. The onus will be on you to settle your medical bills in this period. So even though being paid 3, 4 or R5 000 a day while you’re are in hospital sounds more than adequate, it often falls short of the actual costs of a hospital admission.
Hospital Plans Compared to Hospital Insurance – Hospital Insurance is Better than Nothing
Having said that, with hospital insurance, while all the uncertainties about a stint in the hospital can’t be removed, hospital insurance can help you pay for some of those unexpected costs, making your bills more manageable.
People who invest in hospital insurance have been devastated to discover that hospital insurance is a set amount. It doesn’t always cover your hospital bills, leaving you financially short. People need to be alert to the fact that while R5000 a day while you are in hospital can sound more than adequate, it often isn’t.
These costs do include –
- the cost of the stay
- he treatment you receive
- payment to doctors, scans and tests
Even a stay in an average hospital could run into thousands of Rands, and the amount you collect will possibly pay only a portion of the bill.
With hospital insurance, you can use the money paid out from the hospital cover for any hospital bills. Remember that the daily payout or lump sum will be dependent on what your monthly premium is as well as the company you choose. That is why it is important to compare quotes from different insurance companies to get ther right hospital insurance for your needs.
Hospital Plans Compared to Hospital Insurance – Hospital Plans more Viable
Certainly, hospital plans in South Africa are a more viable option as they cost far less than a medical aid. Some medical schemes offer a hospital plan but with a bit of a difference – they come with some medical aid benefits while still being at an affordable price. Hospital plans are for people who are healthy. If your health changes, you can change your plan.
Because of prohibitive medical aid costs, there has been a steady increase in health insurance products recently, and for South Africans strapped for cash, both hospital plans and hospital insurance can be a lifeline. Research each once carefully because there are disappointing features to each one.
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