Health Insurance for Expats in South Africa
August 14, 2020
If you’re going to live and work in South Africa, getting health insurance for expats is a good idea. This is because getting private healthcare here can prove quite expensive if you’re paying out-of-pocket. Public healthcare is more affordable, but it is overwhelmed. There are limited doctors and equipment in these facilities against very high demand. Getting comprehensive private health insurance can also prove rather costly. This is why a number of expats opt to get universal cover before coming to their workstations.
If you choose to get health insurance in South Africa, it should be private health insurance. This is because there is less strain on the facilities and doctors in private healthcare facilities. In this way you are assured of better quality care and shorter waiting times. Having said this, you are entitled to public healthcare as an expat in South Africa though this doesn’t mean it will be free. It is free for the poor, unemployed and those too elderly to work. Mothers who have given birth and can’t afford maternity care are exempted from paying.
International health insurance for expats
Before you set off from your home country, you need to confer with your current provider. You need to confirm if the health insurance you currently have is transferable to South Africa. If not, find out if it can be converted into an international cover that will be active in the country. The other option is taking up a new policy with a South African provider.This may be unnecessary if you’re in ZA just for a few days. You could instead think about taking out travel insurance. If you do, make sure that the cover it provides will be adequate for your stay and the kind of care you will need.
It could also be that your employer will undertake to provide you with medical cover. In this case you won’t have to shoulder the premiums alone. If you’ll be getting your own medical insurance policy, you should think about lowering you premiums. One way to do this is selecting a policy that is within your means. Take your time and search the products of the providers available. Some may have limits that will work against you. The more comprehensive policies may cover items you may not really need. So you have to strike a balance between adequate coverage and manageable cost.
Copayment for treatment
Policies will have options of lower contributions if you use only providers in the provider’s network. If you use only state health facilities, your contributions can be even lower. Some policies will have lower contributions but will require you to make a copayment every time you get treatment. For expatriates, you will likely be required to have a copayment. You will be required to pay for treatment in both public and private healthcare facilities. If you have a health policy, you will be reimbursed for what you spend.
Another is taking care of yourself to reduce your chances of falling ill. You can do this by taking regular medical checkups or taking up a gym membership.
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All info was correct at time of publishing