Living on your own gives you a feeling of complete independence, allowing you to spend your time as you please and leave your house in any state that suits you. However, it does come with its own set of issues, especially when it comes to healthcare.
Having hospital cover in South Africa when living alone is vital for any possible emergencies or illnesses that may afflict you, as you may not have anyone in the close vicinity to help you to recover from an operation or sickness. It is also an important financial decision to make, allowing you to save money on what could become exorbitant hospital bills if you had to pay from your own pocket. Below are just some of the reasons why having hospital cover is important if you live on your own.
You can save money
Medical expenses, such as the cost of an operation or a visit to a doctor, can quickly add up. They can become insurmountable if you have to continue paying from your own pocket, especially if you are living off of only your own income.
With hospital cover plans, you will be able to save the money that would usually be spent on these medical expenses. While you will have to pay a monthly contribution to your hospital cover plan, you will find that it is affordable and a sound financial investment. It will save you from having to pay hefty hospital costs, which is helpful for the wallet of someone who is living alone and having to pay rent, utilities and other daily expenses.
You have access to good healthcare
Having hospital cover in South Africa means that you have access to private healthcare over public options, which means that you will be given better healthcare. Public healthcare is sometimes not on the same level of private healthcare, especially when it comes to surgical procedures and hospitalisation.
Hospital cover will ensure that, should you be in an emergency situation, you will be taken to a hospital in your hospital plan’s network, all of which are of the highest calibre. When living alone, you need to be healthy and able to care for yourself, which is made possible by having hospital cover. You will also be able to visit a doctor if you need to, depending on your hospital cover choice, which will ensure healthier living and better health choices.
What happens in an emergency?
Say, for example, you are living in a fifth floor flat and you slip down the stairs on a wet patch, having to call for an ambulance for your injuries. The first ambulance that arrives is usually a private one, and they will ask for some form of deposit. If you cannot pay this, you will have to wait for a government ambulance, which could take some time to arrive.
Once you are in the ambulance, you will be asked if you want to go to a private or government hospital, and a private hospital will require a 50% deposit upfront. If you cannot pay this, you will not be admitted and will be sent to a government hospital. If you are living alone, without hospital cover or a medical aid and relying only on your own salary, then these costs will become exorbitant, and emergency situations will become even more difficult than necessary.
You can maintain your health
Skipping a doctor’s visit because of the cost of the consultation is not ideal. You will only become sicker and this is detrimental when you live on your own, as you will have to care for yourself in an unhealthy state.
With hospital cover, you are allowed a certain number of doctor’s visits a year, and you also have access to chronic medication if this is necessary for your health. Some hospital cover plans even offer rewards for healthy living, which are great incentives to maintain your health. If you feel that you are only in need of cover in case you experience an emergency situation, a hospital plan will give you peace of mind that you will be well-cared-for during that experience.
The sooner, the better
Waiting to join a hospital plan or medical aid will mean that you incur a late joiner’s fee, which can be quite substantial as you get older. This means that you should join while you are young and living alone, as you can change your plan easily if your relationship status or financial status changes over the years.
Joining a hospital cover plan or a medical aid scheme usually means that you will have to undergo a medical screening, which can pick up on any underlying conditions that you may not know you had. This enables doctors to treat these conditions before they get too serious, saving you from having to deal with a debilitating illness or condition. As the saying goes, “the sooner, the better”, and this could not be truer when it comes to your health.