Private medical schemes still have their place

By Staff Writer
Margaret Hulme, Old Mutual Actuaries healthcare consulting manager, believes private medical aid schemes have a positive role to play in South Africa in the short to medium term.

In a statement released last week Hulme said: "While Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister, alluded to the government's intention to introduce a National Health Insurance (NHI) system in his recent budget address, private medical schemes will draw comfort from his remarks highlighting the need for the private sector to be retained alongside the public system." 

  • The tax deductible portion of monthly contributions to medical schemes - for those under 65 - has been increased by 7.2% for each of the first two beneficiaries. That is, from R625 to R670.
  • It has also increased by 7.9% for each additional beneficiary; so from R380 to R410.
  • For those who are 65 and older, medical expenses, including contributions, are still fully tax deductible. 

It will take some time before the South African government implements a national health insurance scheme and while government hospitals continue to struggle with various issues, the private ones are cashing in.

Visiting a private hospital, doctor, dentist or any type of specialist can become a pricey affair. If you do not currently have health insurance, shopping around for a good deal is the best place to start. Be informed before you choose a medical aid. Also make sure that you are getting the best out of your current medical aid provider by comparing quotes once in a while. Every individual has different needs and there is no point in paying for something you'll never use.

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