Gap cover takes care of unexpected medical bills.
How to choose the best gap cover requires a fair amount of input. In fact, buying any insurance product can be a minefield for the lay-man.
Buying medical gap cover is no different. So it’s ALWAYS wise to research the product and to obtain unbiased advice from an insurance broker.
Points to note are:
- Important criteria
- The cheapest is not always the best
- Waiting periods
- Family health history
Comparisons – How to choose the best gap cover
The importance of comparing all the different options available on the South African market can never be over emphasised. A great tool for this is to take a look at the GAP cover resources page.
This page gives you a table illustrating five of the most comprehensive gap cover products currently on the market.
Important criteria –
The page also highlights 27 of the most important criteria one must assess before making an informed decision as to which product best suits individual needs.
Remember, price alone must never become the main reason for selecting gap cover. There are different strokes for different folks, so rather pay a little more if the product suits your lifestyle and needs.
Don’t buy Cheap – How to Choose the Best gap cover
Cheaper gap cover products usually only offer a “maximum rate” of between 100% and 200%. In other words, you will be covered for up to 200% more than what medical specialists charge for their services.
However, in South Africa today, it has become common practice for the medical profession to charge 500% more than stipulated medical aid tariffs, leaving policyholders to pay in the difference.
Waiting periods –
All health insurance products have waiting periods. These are usually three months from the date of joining.
However, pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy can be put on hold for 12 months before policyholders are eligible to receive gap cover benefits.
Premiums – How to choose the best gap cover
As previously discussed, premiums vary depending on the level of gap cover benefits selected – the more comprehensive the cover, to more expensive the premium.
If you select gap cover that costs a very affordable R150 a month, you more than likely will only be insured for up to 200% of the maximum rate.
Family health History –
One of the most important criteria to take into consideration is your family’s health history. If that includes illnesses such as cancer, then gap cover that offers good oncology benefits should become a definite inclusion in the policy.
Other considerations should include cover for emergencies and dental benefits. Select wisely.
It is critical to choose gap cover that will bridge the difference in medical aid payouts and medical profession costs. After all, settling medical bill shortfalls is the reason for taking out gap cover in the first place.
Gap cover forms an integral part of any health insurance portfolio. It is there very important to make sure that you insure wisely.
So take a look at the GAP cover resources page again before making that final decision.
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