The South African healthcare system can seem to be a confusing one at times. With a woefully under-funded state system that tries its best but can not deliver, it is left for people to arrange their own healthcare. As such, there are now well over 100 private and public health insurance schemes available, all competing with one another. To date, over 8 million South Africans have signed up for private healthcare, which represents just slightly less than 20% of the total population. If you are one of the 80% which are looking at getting healthcare, then this hospital plan comparison may prove to be useful.
There are basically two types of scheme available, and these are the traditional medical aid schemes, and the hospital cash back schemes. Each one has its uses, and in fact, they work extremely well together if both policies are used. Here, we will start with what a medical aid scheme is, and the benefits that it offers.
A medical aid scheme is one designed to pay off hospital bills in the event that a person becomes hospitalised through illness or injury. These can be very useful policies indeed, as hospital bills can run into tens of thousands of Rand for prolonged stays. There are different levels of policy available. The lower ones may state that they would only pay 80% towards any total bills, whilst the comprehensive policies would cover everything. Of course, the small print should always be read before taking out any policy, and any previous medical history and conditions should always be disclosed.
Hospital Cash Back Plans
This second type of policy differs in the sense that it does not pay for the hospital bills, instead, it pays a set income to the policy holder for every day that they are hospitalised. The amount paid out will depend on the monthly payments into the scheme, and can range from between R750 and R5000 per month. To see which level of hospital plan would suit you best, you could use a hospital plan comparison.
These two different types of scheme appeal to people in different ways. With private healthcare subscribers, it is noticeable that many young workers and low income workers choose the hospital cash back plan as their sole healthcare insurance. For people of higher incomes, including those with families, the comprehensive medical aid plans are more appealing. They are prepared to pay higher premiums for additional extras such as dentistry and local doctors appointments.
As mentioned before, some people choose to run the two schemes in tandem with one another. This might sound strange at first, but it does make a great deal of sense. The medical aid scheme would take care of any medical expenses, whilst the cash back scheme would help to replace any lost income. Small business owners or the self employed are likely to want to run both schemes together, especially those people over their forties.
When making your hospital plan comparison, it is important to achieve a balance between what you think you may need, and what you can currently afford. You should also ensure that the scheme is suitable for yourself and your lifestyle.
Whichever scheme that you decide to take, having one offers more security than not having one at all. It is far better to be prepared for something that may never happen, than not be prepared at all, and far too many South Africans are faced with the choice of either poor care or huge bills each year, when all they needed to do, was commit to a monthly payment in one of the aforementioned plans.