Having a hospital plan in South Africa is a necessity for anyone who takes their health seriously. It is vital for everyone who is able to afford, whether you are single, married or have children and an extended family to think about. When you are in a relationship, your partner’s health becomes important to you which often makes us consider adding them to our hospital plan. Adding your partner to your hospital plan is a big step to take, so read on below for some advice on how to proceed.
Do they have specific medical needs?
One of the most important aspects of adding your partner or spouse to your hospital plan or health insurance in South Africa is to consider whether or not they have any specific medical needs. This includes needing chronic medication or having to visit doctors for regular checkups.
If your partner does have these needs and is not on a medical aid at the moment, you should add them to your hospital plan so that they can take care of their different medical needs. They will need to list all of their specifications, including medicines and illnesses before you can make a decision, as these could raise your monthly premiums. Some of these conditions might be excluded by certain hospital plan providers as well.
What are your finances like?
Once you are certain about what sort of medical needs your partner has, you will need to look at your finances. Can you afford to add someone to your hospital plan? You will have to pay the normal adult fees for your partner, which can become expensive if they are unable to contribute towards them.
If you are both earning a salary, then it might be feasible to add your partner to your hospital plan. However, if you are the sole breadwinner then it might not be a good option to include them on your hospital plan, unless your salary is able to cover this cost. Investing in some form of medical coverage for yourself and your partner is vital at any stage of life, so be sure that your finances can cover this investment.
What services does your hospital plan cover?
This is important to check, as it ties in with any specific medical needs you and your partner may have. If your partner has a chronic illness, this might be covered only by some hospital plans, whereas some medical aid prices include chronic illness cover.
By knowing what services are covered by your hospital plan, you will be able to see if your partner will benefit from being added to your plan or if they would be better off taking out one of their own. If your spouse has medical needs that are not covered by your plan, it is probably best if they look into their own medical aid or hospital plan.
What is the process?
Once you have looked at the services covered by the plan, you will need to find out what the process is of adding a partner to your hospital cover. Your partner might need to undergo a physical examination or a full medical checkup before you can apply to have them added, and this will be used to rule out any illnesses that might be excluded from cover.
You will likely need to fill out an application form for any hospital plan in South Africa, on which you will need to list all medical conditions as well as the relationship between you and your partner. If you are not married but both contribute to finances and have signed a domestic partnership, the process of adding your partner to your plan could be easier than if you are simply dating. Find out the process from your provider before taking any further steps.
What about extra costs?
You know what you will be paying in terms of contributions to your hospital plan provider once you have added your partner, but you will also need to look at the extra costs that could occur. This is especially true if your partner is a ‘late joiner’: they might be charged a fee for joining a medical aid at an older age or waiting too long between applying for hospital plan cover.
You will also need to look at what the co-payments are of your plan, such as how much you will need to pay if you or your spouse has to visit a doctor or stay in the hospital. Some of these costs can be exorbitant so be sure to clarify with your provider what they are when you are adding your partner to your plan. If there is a joining fee for your partner, be sure that they can contribute towards this to make it less expensive for you.