With so many open-market medical aid plans in the country, it's difficult to identify and choose the best one. Even if you believe you're on the ideal scheme, your needs are unique. You should review your medical aid towards the end of every year to see if it continues to best meet those needs and decide whether it is worth switching.
Each medical scheme needs to meet minimum benchmarks from a servicing and financial perspective, such as keeping 25% of contributions in a reserve fund. "Although these factors are constantly measured, they don't contribute to a scheme's ranking and shouldn't affect your medical aid choice," says Alexia Graham, Director Hippo Advice.
The majority of medical aid customers choose their scheme based on personal triggers with various aspects and benefits provoking responses. Happiness amongst price-sensitive members, taking out network options to save money, is usually triggered by the extent and flexibility of these networks. Members who have suffered from a particular illness like cancer are more likely to buy a product offering sufficient benefits to cover oncology costs. When taking out appropriate medical aids, they may experience emotions related to peacefulness because they know that they've taken positive steps to deal with their concern.
"Medical aid choices should be needs-based," explains Graham. She adds: "If a member is active, enjoys going to the gym, and is interested in rewards programmes, then they're likely to be influenced to buy products from medical aid suppliers like Discovery and Momentum which offer Vitality and Multiply rewards programmes."
Hippo currently assists around 15,000 customers with their medical aid cover requirements every month. Hippo has identified that the most sought after schemes are:
"Many customers are influenced by brand and size," says Graham. However, it would be wiser for customers to make their medical aid product choices based on the following:
Many employers include a preferred medical aid supplier or suppliers as part of their employment agreement with new employees. Although this reduces freedom of medical aid choice for company staff, it provides them with peace of mind. This results from knowing that they do not have to face underwriting restrictions like specific waiting periods. Those not on a company medical aid, can freely choose to belong to an open plan, accessible to all South Africans wanting to reduce the risks of private medical care.
While determining which medical aid option is best for you, look for comparisons and quotes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.