RISING medical aid subscriptions are pushing people out of schemes.
According to Stats SA’s General Household Survey, only 17 out of every 100 South Africans are covered by medical aid, and this number gets smaller every year.
While nobody plans on getting sick or injured, it does happen.
And this is why medical aid still sells – nobody wants to get caught without cover when they need to get expensive hospital care.
Damian McHugh, head of health marketing at Momentum, said: “There are a few ways people can use their benefits to keep their out-of-pocket costs low.”
Prevention is better than cure
Read through your scheme’s lists to find which preventative screenings it offers. Some offer flu vaccinations and other medical interventions that reduce further visits to the doctor.
Negotiate your rate
Some doctors do negotiate the rates they charge to closer match medical aid options.
Flexibility is fundamental
Medical aid members can save up to 35% on premiums by using the new provider choices for members. Under this more flexible option, members are able to obtain their benefits from specific chronic medication providers or hospital providers of their choice at a discounted monthly premium.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to prescribe or dispense generic versions of your medication, if possible. You also need to use a pharmacy that supplies the medication you want to buy.
Query and quote
Before agreeing to high-cost treatment, get a quote first. If the cost is too expensive to afford, speak to your service providers for other payment arrangements they might offer.
Your medical aid usually needs to speak to you before they authorise procedures. This is when you can determine whether you will need to pay any upfront co-payments and shortfalls.
Chronic conditions are permanent and need constant meds.
If diagnosed with a chronic condition, contact your medical aid to learn whether it is covered in your plan. If you don’t register it, the associated costs will be covered from savings and this will deplete your savings unnecessarily.