Best Medical Aids for 2019

medical aid 2019

Over the past six years, market research company Consulta has provided an impartial snapshot of how South African consumers rate their experience with the top medical aid schemes in the country.

In the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) survey, 1675 randomly selected respondents, from five medical aid schemes, were asked several weighted questions relating to the perceived quality and value of the scheme, and whether it had surpassed, or failed to live up to, expectations

Based on the sample’s responses, schemes were rated out of 100. The higher the score, the more satisfied the consumers.

Medihelp tops the customer satisfaction charts

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best medical aid schemes in 2019 in terms of overall customer satisfaction:

How do the latest medical scheme SAcsi ratings compare to last year?

Medihelp is the only open medical aid scheme in South Africa to show a significant improvement in ratings.

The scheme’s overall score increased by 2.5 points year-on-year, enabling it to leapfrog over Discovery Health, and top the SAcsi charts in 2019.

Medihelp, along with Momentum Health, share the lead on the Perceived Value Index. Their ratings jumped from 70.9 to 73.6, and 70.5 to 72.3, respectively.

Industry experts attribute Medihelp’s strong showing to an increasing appetite for less expensive, traditional options.

Discovery’s shift in focus to its banking and insurance products, may well be a contributing factor to its slight decline from 74.8 to 73.1. However, Discovery Health is the only scheme to have achieved a higher rating than the current industry average of 72.7 over the past four years.

Along with its AAA Global Credit Rating, 26.3 percent solvency ratio, and R14.2 billion held in reserves, this has made it a popular choice with consumers.

Bonitas remains popular with South Africans, but has shed 2.9 points from its previous rating of 73.1.

What about the medical aid sector as a whole?

The average rating of the medical schemes industry has declined from 74.2 to a score of 72.7. When compared to other financial service sectors, the industry is not in positive territory in terms of keeping customers happy.

The banking sector, for example, has experienced an improvement in customer satisfaction, with the average rating increasing from 76.5 to 78.8.

Consumers have indicated that a key gripe is schemes failing to pay claims in full. Membership costs can be high too. Nonetheless, not having medical aid simply isn’t a sensible option. Medical costs in South Africa continue to rise well above inflation, year after year – and an accident or unforeseen illness can be a financial disaster.

Rising financial pressures on medical aid schemes and their members make it doubly important to choose a medical aid provider carefully, and to read the fine print. If your provider isn’t among the best medical aids for 2019, it may be time to investigate your options.

At IFC, we offer informed, objective advice about South African medical aid schemes, and can assist you in joining the scheme that best suits your needs and budget. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

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