As important as a retirement annuity may be, so is medical insurance. Start exploring medical insurance options sooner rather than later in life. Accidents occur when we least expect them and for this reason it’s essential to be financially secure when the medical bills arrive. You may be young in body and mind, but that doesn’t prevent you from being susceptible to chronic conditions and dread diseases.
Don’t waste time
If you’re able to afford medical insurance, get onto it. Medical costs which involve surgery, consultations, hospitalisation and medication can throw you into debt. Be aware the longer you’re without debt, the more costly it’ll become. According to IFC, an independent financial institute, “Any South African, aged 35 years or above, who has never belonged to a medical aid scheme automatically attracts a late joiner fee. The same penalty applies to anyone who has been without cover for 90 days or more.”
Hospital plan cover
All hospital plans need to provide cover which includes covering the cost of procedures, consultations and medication to all patients who are admitted. The scheme typically also provides cover for pathology, oncology, radiology and dialysis. Be sure to find out which surgical procedures the medical aid covers before joining. Medical aid can cover up to 100%, 200% or 300% of the scheme rate, which will be equivalent to the value of your monthly contribution. In essence, the more you contribute to the fund, the more cover you’ll have while hospitalised. Exorbitant hospital cover could provide you with benefits at any private hospital or clinic. The budgeted options will typically cover costs at certain state hospitals or specific private facilities.
Easy medical upgrades
Any eligible person can sign up for medical insurance in South Africa. Should your circumstances ever change, you are able to upgrade to a comprehensive product. If you’re diagnosed with a particular disease that may require ongoing medical treatment or if you’re ready to start a family, you can level up to a medical aid plan which offers a greater level of benefits that suits your particular situation. However, certain medical aids may only allow you to upgrade at certain times of the year and perhaps on a pre-existing condition which may be temporarily excluded from your chosen cover. When reading through your contract be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the scheme. For special assurance, approach an expert in the field to provide you with a detailed explanation of the fine print.