Membership of More Than One Medical Aid
January 30, 2017
The truth is it can be fun to trick medical schemes to get as much money from them as possible. Running out of funds with one would mean just claiming from the other scheme. There are some people who even try to belong to 3 or 4 medical schemes to really score. Although to have a membership of more than one medical aid can get a bit tricky to manage. There are two types of medical aid schemes – Open and Restricted medical schemes. The name of the plans is quite self-explanatory. Open schemes are open to the public. While Restricted schemes only accept certain people, such as government employees.
Membership of More than one Medical Aid is Fraud
In South Africa however, to have a membership of more than one medical aid is considered fraud. In fact, there is a law against belonging to two or more schemes at the same time. You can find this law at Section 28 of the Medical Schemes Act 131 of 1998.
It’s true that some people change from one medical aid to another and forget to cancel their previous one. Ignoring this isn’t an excuse, and the consequences could be severe. You have to take immediate action if you become aware that you belong to more than one medical aid. If you do not take action, the medical aids could cancel your memberships or suspend it entirely. Or they can add you to the fraud database because you belong to more than one medical aid. The same database that all medical aid companies have access to.
There’s Plenty of Time to do things Properly
If you do want to change medical schemes, you have to give written notice – mostly it is 30 days before your resignation date. You can then join another scheme. The scheme must give you a membership certificate within 30 days of the termination of your membership.
Belonging to more than one medical aid is illegal. It a crime, and you can either get a hefty fine or even jail time. Medical schemes of today are quite different to what they were decades ago. Today, strict rules and regulations govern the industry, put there to protect the members but to also protect the financial sustainability of the scheme.
Just like your medical scheme has to abide by the rules and refrain from doing certain things, members have to abide by certain rules too.
Medical aids are essential in South Africa, but it’s because of private health care costs spiralling out of control that makes people believe that belonging to more than one medical aid can solve the problem. They also don’t like those waiting periods where a person isn’t covered, even though they are a member. By belonging to several medical aids, while they wait for the one to kick in, they benefit from the other.
Signing Up is Easy
Becoming a member of a medical aid is simple, and its a matter of filling in an online application form that takes just minutes. You can easily find the right medical scheme for you by really understanding medical aid and gap cover. Also with such high premiums each month, to belong to several medical aids can be gruelling, and if you don’t pay your monthly contributions, the medical aid will terminate your membership.
Stick to One Medical Aid
If you’re desperate to have a medical aid, the only way to benefit from their offerings is to stay on the right side of the law and belong to one only.
Having a membership of more than one medical aid is a criminal offence. And with that fraudulent crime to your name, no other medical aids will accept you.
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All info was correct at time of publishing