Save Money on Medical Aid – Change to a Hospital Plan
November 27, 2015
There is a simple way to save money on medical aid right now. All you have to do is change to a hospital plan with your current medical aid.
Then you should get gap cover to cover the co-payments you might be liable for as a result of the switch.
Let me explain….
Why people want to save money on medical aid
Annual medical aid increases are outstripping inflation and certainly outstripping salary and wage increases. With the rising cost of electricity and food and everything else, South Africans are finding they cannot afford those exorbitant monthly medical aid payments any more. They are desperately looking for ways to save money on medical aid premiums.
You are not alone – many thousands of South African families are in this position.
Do not make the mistake of leaving your medical scheme and buying a hospital cash back policy from one or other insurance company. This is NOT the same as getting a hospital plan from your medical scheme.
This is because, by law, your medical aid MUST cover the costs of a long list of conditions listed in the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMB) list as laid down by the Council for Medical Schemes.
So even if you have cheaper cover from your medical aid there will be a lot more cover there than the thin benefits accruing from the hospital plans offered by non-medical aid organisations. This is not the correct way to save money on medical aid payments.
Clever way to save money on medical aid
Right, so now you have cheaper cover from your medical aid in the form of a hospital plan that covers mainly hospital stays, the cost of specialists and some other sundries, such as radiography and dental procedures (depending on the medical aid you are with).
Plus your medical aid will be obliged to pay for chronic medication for a wide variety of conditions, again depending on the medical scheme and the particular plan you choose.
As this sort of plan will most likely not have a savings account for daily medical expenses, conventional visits to the GP, dental check-ups and over the counter medicine you will have to pay for yourself.
But to save money on medical aid is not THAT simple!
It sounds good but it is not the full story, because every time you go onto a cheap plan with less cover, the co-payment element increases.
So say, for example, your medical plan pays for 200% for a certain procedure. It sounds great but really it means they will pay 200% according to their own estimate of what the procedure SHOULD cost. The amount has nothing to do with the bill that the hospital or specialist might deliver.
Let’s say you undergo a procedure at a hospital and the total bill is R160 000. If the medical plan pays 200% and their list says the operation should cost only R40 000, then the hospital plan will cover just R80 000 of the bill. Here’s the point: you will be personally liable for the outstanding R80 000, payable in hard cash.
So what to do?
This is where medical gap cover comes in.
Medical gap cover is a vital tool to save money on medical aid
Several excellent medical gap cover companies have sprung up in South Africa in response to the need for people to be protected from these unexpected gap payments.
So if you are on a hospital plan from a medical aid then you should sign up with Sirago, Complimed, Zestlife or one of the other medical gap cover companies.
Life insurance companies such as Liberty Life and Sanlam also offer medical gap cover.
- Stick with your medical aid but downgrade to a hospital plan
- Get medical gap cover to insure the co-payment gap
- Enjoy saving money on medical aid this way
Complete the form on this page and submit to get FREE hospital plan quotes
All info was correct at time of publishing