Don’t Cut Medical Cover and Harm Your Health
December 16, 2021
The exorbitant cost of medical care is forcing more and more South African retirees to either reduce or cut medical cover enirely. But it is this age group of consumers who are most prone to illness and who most need medical cover.
It is a known fact that less than 10% of people who retire can maintain their lifestyles and, often, it is their medical scheme cover that becomes the sacrificial lamb in their attempt to trim their budgets.
This trend has been confirmed by an Alexander Forbes actuarial specialist, Sonelle Kingsley, who says retirees buckle under the pressure of expensive monthly medical scheme contributions. She believes this trend will continue as increased demand for medical services keeps accelerating the cost of healthcare.
The problem has been exacerbated by companies withdrawing their medical scheme subsidies because of cost-of-living and healthcare inflation rates. Ms Kingsley says Alexander Forbes has noted an increasing trend by companies to reduce, cap or eliminate healthcare subsidies.
Companies Help You Not to Cut Medical Cover
However, some employers do offer pensioners the option of a lump sum payout or a fixed annuity instead of medical scheme subsidies which should be used to reduce the financial burden of continued medical cover. Another word of advice from Ms Kingsley is that pensioners seek the services of an accredited broker to formulate and to handle an affordable healthcare product.
She points out that while state hospitals may be sufficient to meet the needs of many pensioners, these facilities cannot service the needs of those people in need of immediate or specialised healthcare. Pensioners, generally, fall into that category.
Medical cover for the young and healthy
Many young and healthy consumers do not see the need for medical cover but they are just as prone to being involved in an accident or being diagnosed with an unexpected illness as the older generation.
At the very least, this group of citizens should seriously consider buying into a hospital plan to cover their basic healthcare needs. Hospital plans are a great option but also covers about 26 prescribed chronic medical conditions.
Don’t Cut Medical Cover – Get Gap Cover
Although gap cover is only available to members of a medical scheme, this short-term insurance product is continuing to grow in popularity because it covers the difference between what medical schemes pay for stipulated treatments and procedures and the final fees imposed by members of the medical profession. In fact, these differences can escalate to five times more than what medical aid schemes are prepared to pay.
The government’s proposed National Health Insurance scheme which will provide healthcare cover for all South Africans, irrespective of their financial status, could go a long way to solving the issues being faced in today’s healthcare industry. However, NHI is only expected to start operating in 2025 so, in the meantime, consumers must obtain the best possible health cover that they can afford.
To get your medical gap cover quote simply complete and then submit the form on this page. (Please note: gap cover is for people who already belong to a medical aid in South Africa.)
All info was correct at time of publishing