MyMoney Online

Choosing the best medical plan... (when there's no such thing!)

There are many plans in the ranges of the various medical schemes and this makes choosing the appropriate plan that much more difficult. I chose the word ‘appropriate‘ deliberately, as many members want to know what is the best plan for them.

Well, from my point of view, one can only know what is best when you are able to compare with hind sight. Know one knows what medical expenses they will incur in the future so it is difficult to know which plan is best. An appropriate plan is one which is likely to provide benefits relative to your health and your affordability.

Listen to what Paul had to say to Sam and Africa, then pay attention to the points he unpacks below...

You get what you pay for Essentially, medical aid is insurance. Schemes work on the principle of contributions received covering claims paid out. The variety of plans offered differ in price because of one reason – benefits. So it stands to reason that you get what you pay for. The more the plan costs the more the benefits compared to cheaper plans.

Don’t choose your plan purely on cost Study the benefits in line with your likely usage and then compare costs. Are you likely to be a high user or low user of medical your medical aid. The higher your likely usage the more comprehensive your plan should be. Conversely, the lower you anticipate claiming the more essential plan your plan could be. Be carful of very cheap plans that promise hospital cover. You get what you pay for, so you probably will find a limit in your hospital cover. The better plans have unlimited hospital cover which means you won’t have to leave after a few days. You can stay for as long as the procedure and recuperation requires.

Cover the big bills Especially, if affordability is a problem you should choose a plan that covers you adequately when being admitted to hospital. The cost of surgery is horrendous in many cases so much so that hospitals won’t even admit you if your does not cover you sufficiently.

Covering the small bills Many schemes offer medical savings accounts for the claims out of hospital. Doctors, dentists, medicine, glasses/ contacts, etc. These bills are smaller than those in hospital and you won’t have to sell your house if you claim for these. Here is where you can make your plan fit your budget.

Low users can have a smaller savings account than higher users. Lower users can also consider excluding a comprehensive scheme which insures for claims once the savings account is exhausted. The saving is in the premium through the year which in turn can be used to offset bills if the savings account is depleted.

Manage your wellness A fact of life is that the more healthier you are the less you will claim. Schemes offer wellness programs which are really worth it if you work with them. They aim at rewarding you for being healthy offering a definite value proposition which could compensate for the cost of your plan. The trick is to get involved and keep up with the program.

Understand your medical aid plan before you make your option. Many members choose a popular plan and only realise what they are actually covered for when they come to use it. If you choose an essential plan for the right reasons you won’t be disappointed when claiming because your expectation will be realistic.

If you are in any doubt consult your financial planner for advice.

Read more from Paul Roelofse at www.investforlife.co.za

Read More
2 best investments on the JSE right now (and one from the USA)

2 best investments on the JSE right now (and one from the USA)

It’s Stock Pick Monday on Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show. He interviews I-Capital Managing Director Lance Williams.

Women are better investors than men

Women are better investors than men

Warren Ingram explains why it is that women clearly outperform men.

Hottest shares you can buy right now (by Fairtree Capital)

Hottest shares you can buy right now (by Fairtree Capital)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Portfolio Manager Jean-Pierre Verster.

Unsure where to invest? These are the best shares right now (by Anchor Capital)

Unsure where to invest? These are the best shares right now (by Anchor Capital)

Sumitra Nydoo (on The Money Show) interviews Anchor Capital Analyst Henry Biddlecombe.

How accurate (or off the mark) stock pickers on The Money Show have been in 2017

How accurate (or off the mark) stock pickers on The Money Show have been in 2017

Bruce Whitfield grills three stock pickers he interviewed in January on the performance of their picks for 2017.

3 epic shares to buy right now (by Herenya Capital Advisors)

3 epic shares to buy right now (by Herenya Capital Advisors)

These are the three hottest investments you can make right now, according to Petri Redelinghuys.

Popular articles
It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

Best way to get richer (especially if you’re between ages 20 and 45)

Best way to get richer (especially if you’re between ages 20 and 45)

Still young(ish)? Consider the single best thing you can do to increase your wealth by much more than the inflation rate.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.