Why the Cheapest Medical Aid Isn't Always Best

Value vs PriceWith medical aid schemes, it’s important to remember that the best deal doesn’t always equate to the cheapest deal. Many people looking for medical aid cover search for “cheap” options, but going for the lowest common denominator can be a lot more expensive in the long run.

Insufficient cover

Of course, the more you pay for your contributions as a medical aid member, the more cover you’re entitled to. Simply choosing the medical aid with the lowest contribution rate may mean that when you need medical aid for a serious injury or condition, you’ll find that the scheme you signed up with pays only a fraction of your costs.

Chronic medication

The less you pay per month, the more limited the list of chronic conditions and medication your medical aid is going to provide cover for.

Consider your lifestyle

If you’re young, healthy and single, you can probably get away with a more affordable hospital plan. However, fathers-to-be and future moms should take into account that these cheap options simply won’t cut it when it comes to maternity costs, immunisations for children and so on.

Packages and discounts

Medical aids like Discovery and Momentum come with a range of optional- added “lifestyle” benefits and discounts, which aren’t included by all schemes. These range from cheaper movie tickets and gym memberships, to discounts from a range of retailers and service providers.

Customer service

It’s a hard line to draw, but dealing with schemes that are not-reputable and have premiums below a certain contribution cost, you can’t really expect to get excellent customer service from these medical aid providers. Excellent customer service doesn’t just mean a sweet voice on the other end of the phone; it’s also about paying out quickly and efficiently when payments are due. Larger medical aid schemes with trusted track records are far less likely to make you wait for long periods or to fail to settle valid claims.

Registration with the South African Council for Medical Aid Schemes

The South African Council for Medical Aid Schemes (SACMS) is a regulatory body charged with ensuring that the services of all registered medical aid providers meet certain standards, provide cover for prescribed minimum benefits and pay out the correct amounts when they’re contractually obligated to. When searching for the cheapest medical aid out there, if you find that they aren’t members of the SACMS. This should be a warning sign.

Do research

To ensure that you get the best value for money and that a medical aid plan will suit your needs, it’s vital to do proper research – rather than simply opting for the cheapest cover you can find.

To make things easier, speak to one of our consultants at IFC, and we’ll help you find the perfect medical aid scheme to suit your health needs and your wallet.