There are various reasons why you should evaluate your medical and insurance premiums every 12 months. Inflation in South Africa is just around 5%, putting a strain on people’s wallets. The next obvious reason is to take advantage of the new year to search for the best medical aid within your budget.
Trying to save money in 2023 by decreasing spending on healthcare is a bad idea. You may potentially spare some funds in the near term, but the long-term effects could be terrible.
Along with the changing financial climate, our healthcare needs are also constantly evolving. With this in mind, there are 5 main reasons why you should revise your medical aid every 12 months.
1. Check on the comprehensive cover you might need
According to medicalaid.com, the premise upon which medical aid schemes are based is that member contributions should be sufficient to cover all claims made by members. The approach to rein it in is to cap benefits at a level that is affordable. For this reason, there is a wide range of plan types and costs to choose from.
Cost and advantages are directly proportional; the more expensive the plan, the better it will be. Using the likelihood that you’ll end up needing to use your medical aid is a good rule of thumb. A more extensive health insurance plan will be required the more frequently you expect to need your medical assistance.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so if a hospital plan is really cheap, it probably has a very low coverage threshold or has a very high co-payment. The best plans provide unlimited hospital coverage, so you can stay as long as necessary for your treatment or recovery without worrying about being kicked out after a few days.
2. Reconsider loyalty plans that might not benefit you
Avoid letting loyalty programmes (which can offer discounts on things like movie tickets and gym memberships) be your main motivation for sticking to a medical aid plan.
These extras are only “bells and whistles” that may help you forget about the medical insurance plan’s less-desirable features. Benefits like these are lovely to have, but they won’t help you pay for necessary medical care.
3. Examine how your cover might change going forward
Keep in mind that some benefits you’ve come to rely on under your existing plan may have changed as a result of schemes’ efforts to rein in rising claim costs. In light of this, it is crucial to evaluate your plan once a year. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out if something you thought was covered isn’t any longer.
4. Revaluate your existing benefits
Cost, coverage levels, daily maximums, and chronic benefits are the most common factors considered when selecting a health insurance plan.
This is not completely incorrect, but there are other considerations to keep in mind. Before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each option. Don’t make your decision just on price.
5. Check on any new exclusions
Brochures for medical aids are fantastic for selling people on the benefits of the plan, but what about the exclusions? These points are just as significant, but they may shift from year to year.