IN SPITE of the increasing popularity of hospital cash plans or health cash plans as a supplement to cover non-medical expenses, there are a few misconceptions about them.
Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, takes down some myths about health cash plans:
It’s affordable medical aid cover: A health cash plan is NOT medical aid. The cash plan pays cash for non-medical expenses that result from being in hospital. To be covered for medical expenses you still need a medical aid plan.
Funds must be spent at hospital: You are free to choose where you want to use the cash. You can spend the money at hospital or use it to pay your rent for the period that you cannot work.
The payout is based on total hospital expenses incurred – the total pay-out is guaranteed based on the time spent in hospital for consumers who are eligible to get a benefit. It is in no way linked to the expenses charged by the hospital.
The health cash plan is limited to cash: Different cash plans have different benefits such as phone access to qualified nursing advice 24/7 in any South African language.
You need a medical check to get cover: You do not need a check up to get cover but you do need to inform your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions you have such as a heart condition, diabetes or cancer.
Your insurer will tell you how it impacts your policy or if there is a waiting period.
“Although insurers must follow guidelines, the cover they provide is not always the same. This is why it’s important you do not base your decisions on hearsay but what is each policy documents makes specific.
“If you are unsure about the terms of your policy, speak to your insurer.”