Guiding consumers since 2009

Time for cheaper medical aid?

By Staff Writer

As the cost of being a member of a medical aid scheme increases, Justmoney.co.za says that it is time to ‘shop-around' to compare premiums and possibly find a more cost effective scheme. In 2008, the cost of being a member of schemes like Discovery Health and Liberty Health will jump by around 10%.

The reasons for these increases have been put down to rising inflation, higher fees set by consultants and medical specialists, and an increase in claims which meant that schemes had to dip into their reserves - which are legally required to be at least 25% of annual member contributions - so schemes now have to build up their reserves.

According to Discovery Health CEO Neville Koopowitz, speaking to Moneyweb, the generally inflationary environment has meant higher contribution increases. He said: "The underlying cause of the increases has been the higher CPIX. CPIX is the base figure you plug in to these calculations, and as you know, it has broken through 6% recently, when it used to be between 4% and 5%. So that puts you in a difficult starting position. Typically, internationally medical inflation is 2% to 3% higher than CPI."

The Medical Schemes Council, whose job it is to approve or reject changes to the premiums set or benefits offered by medical schemes, has approved 113 options (72% of those it received), but has rejected 49 options (26% of the total) because they were found wanting.

According to Sake Rapport, some of Momentum Health and Oxygen's options were rejected owing to the higher premiums expected of members. Fedhealth, on the other hand, failed as a result of a higher premium and reduced benefits, and all Medicover's options were rejected for the same reason.
Interim results of a poll hosted by Justmoney.co.za found that more than half of respondents (53%) had never shopped around for cheaper medical aid, whilst a staggering 29% say they can no longer afford to pay to be a member of a scheme.

If you think it is about time you compared the cost of your current medical health scheme with its competitors, or simply want to review your current provider to see if you can get more cost-effective cover, check out Justmoney.co.za's new medical aid section.

And vote in the Justmoney.co.za poll to tell us how often you shop-around for a better deal.

Recent Articles

Featured New homeowner? Be aware of these extra expenses

You’ve overcome all the hurdles of buying a home. You’ve managed to pay your deposit and your closing payments, and now you’re a proud title deed holder. However, there are other expenses waiting around the corner. Are you prepared?

Your biggest credit conundrums – answered

Understanding your credit health is one of the most important factors in managing your finances. This is because it gives you insight into your debt, your borrowing ability, and your financial history. While many understand this, there are still many questions on how to do just that.

Avoid debt collectors, choose debt counselling

There are two things you can do when you are struggling to pay your debt. You can either let your creditors hand your debt over to debt collectors – or you can let debt counsellors help you deal with your debt.

Retail notes: easy investment option for new investors

Being a newbie in the world of investing can be challenging because you don’t know where and how to invest. With so many investment options, you could easily be befuddled. Justmoney looks at how retail notes can help you cut your teeth in the world of investing.   

Deals

Translux Student Discount

Price: Depends on destination
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Zimbali Senior Citizens Discount

Price: From R1342.00
When: Until 14 December 2019
Where: KwaZulu Natal

Free meal for kids at Mozambik Restaurant

Price: Free
When: Until 15 November 2019
Where: Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria