The importance of reviewing your medical aid

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Every year brings change with it, so it would make sense that your needs as well as your family’s needs will change each year too. That is why it is important to review your medical aid every year and decide whether your current medical aid is still the best fit for you and your family. Now, reviewing your medical aid is no easy task, that’s why we have some tips to help get you started:

  1. Before you start conducting your research, always remember, you get what you pay for

Medical aids operate on the principle that the contributions received from members should cover any claims paid out. A way to control this is to limit the benefits based on what you can afford to pay. Medical aids come in all shapes and sizes and of course, prices, and it’s important to remember that there is a direct correlation between cost and benefits. So, the more the plan costs, the more benefits you will have. Here’s a tip, think about how often you or your family will need to use your medical aid. If you will need to use it quite often, you will need a comprehensive plan. Finally, always remember you get what you pay for, so avoid very cheap plans, as these plans will no doubt have a limit on your hospital cover, or worse, a massive co-payment that will leave your pockets empty.

  1. Don’t base your decisions on irrelevant value adds

Medical aid loyalty programmes are great and allow you the opportunity to spoil your loved ones on occasion, but don’t let this be your sole driver when deciding on medical aid. Make sure the medical aid you choose is the perfect fit for you and your family, even if it does not come with all the bells and whistles.

  1. Look at the cover you already have and determine how it may change in the coming year

All South Africans have had to tighten their belts lately due to the tough economy and we all have been on the lookout for ways to reduce our living expenses, even if it is by just a little bit. Medical aid is not the exception to the rule, and all medical aid schemes undergo an increase. Additionally, some medical aids may change some benefits on your plan, and your plan could be more expensive, this is all necessary for schemes to contain their costs as claims are also increasing. That is why it is very important to review your medical aid once a year.

  1. Decide what benefits are most important to you and your family in the coming year

Now for the fun part, the benefits! Most people choose their medical plan based solely on cost, levels of medical cover provided, data-to-day limits on medical expenses or chronic benefits. This is not wrong, but make sure to look at other factors and benefits as well. Never choose on cost alone, because then your medical plan will not be the perfect fit for you and your family.

To conclude, finding the right medical aid scheme and plan for you and your family will take some time, thought and research and reviewing your medical aid at least once a year will ensure that your medical aid keeps up with the changes in your family every year and remains the perfect fit.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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