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Choosing a Medical Aid in South Africa


 

  

  

Beware of Medical Aid Perks

Some of the medical aid schemes offer rewards programmes, but don’t be too influenced by the trinkets (cheap movies etc.) Beware of Medical Aid Perksas it might cost you more or it may even decrease the amount of benefits you receive from the scheme.  

Even though rewards programmes can be an added bonus to a medical aid, most of the rewards programmes require a membership fee. The main goal of medical aids with rewards programmes is to force you to live a healthier lifestyle, and it is also used as part of a sales pitch.  

The pros of a rewards programme: 

  • You will receive discounted rates at certain shops, online stores, gym memberships and movie tickets. 
  • You might earn discounted flights and holidays. 
  • You might receive discounted magazine subscriptions. 
  • You might receive cash back on over the counter medicine bought at certain stores. 
  • You might receive roadside assistance. 
  • You might get a partial premium payback after several years.
  • You might receive miles to use for purchase at certain stores.
     

The cons of rewards programmes: 

  • Most rewards programmes require a monthly membership fee. 
  • You might be required to go for a medical check up every year as part of the rewards programme. This check up might be deducted for your day to day benefits.  
  • You will be required to be active either in a gym or walking with a pedometer. 
  • In some of the rewards programmes you need to reach a certain level before you truly benefit from the programme. 
  • The discounted rewards are limited to certain companies only. You might find the same product elsewhere for less than the discounted rate. 
  • In support of the rewards programme your medical aid might offer less benefits than a medical scheme that does not have a rewards programme. 

Don't be too influenced by the free gifts and attractive perks when you consider a medical aid plan. Forget about what yoru friends say about how marvellous the perks are. Rather consider the following: 

• Is it an affordable medical aid? 

• What medical aid rates do the company offer? 

• What is the medical aid benefits the scheme offers? 

• Are the medical scheme rules fair and easy to abide by? 

• Will you be required to pay additional co-payments or deposits for procedures? Are there annual payout ceilings?

• Can you really afford to pay additional membership fees for rewards programmes? Will you make use of them if you do join? Are you the gym type? Do you like to go to the movies?

• Do you really need a rewards programme? You might find the same products at a lower cost than the discounted rates elsewhere. 

A rewards programme might be an added bonus when you purchase a medical aid, but don't be too influenced by the medical aid perks. They might cost you more in the end and even be linked to plans with fewer benefits than those on a scheme that does not offer a rewards programme. Rather be sure you receive the medical aid benefits you need for financial peace of mind. © Medical Aid Plan

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