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Choosing a Medical Aid in South Africa


 

  

  

Do Medical Aids Cover Acne Treatment?  

Millions of people, regardless of gender, culture or nationality, suffer from acne. It is most certainly the most common skin problem in the world.

Acne TreatmentFor most people it is an embarrassing situation, especially because more than eighty percent of the sufferers are teenagers.

In most cases the problem disappears at a young age but in some cases it persists into middle age. Because it is so common, acne is a condition that is seen as an inevitable part of puberty. Amongst teenagers boys suffer worse but amongst adult women are the worst affected.

In medical terminology the condition is known as Acne Vulgaris. It manifests when the sebaceous glands of the skin becomes blocked with dead skin and a variety of oil residues. The next step is that the pores become infected by bacteria and that is how acne starts. 

Despite the widespread occurrence of this condition nobody can really explain the cause. While some people never contract acne others suffer throughout their lives. However, medical experts have identified certain factors that will make the condition worse. High levels of hormones during puberty certainly play a role, as does hormone changes during pregnancy and certain types of medicines. There are also some indications that hereditary factors can play a role.  

The bad news is that there is no cure for acne. There is, however, much that can be done to limit the severity of the condition and to relieve the symptoms. It is important to see a dermatologist because over-the-counter remedies will not be effective for everybody and may actually result in more harm. The more severe the acne, the more aggressive the treatment needs to be. Treatment may involve oral medication of lotions that are applied to the skin. In some cases both are prescribed. Sufferers need to maintain their treatment schedule, even if the skin clears. If treatment is stopped the acne can flare up again very quickly. 

Sadly, acne is not on the minimum benefits list prescribed by the Medical Schemes Council. Medical aid schemes are therefore not obliged to cover treatment for acne problems. Some medical aid plans do make provision for such cover, however.

  • The Gold Saver Select plan from Liberty covers the treatment of acne in children up to the age of twenty one, for example.
  • The Bonitas medical scheme also offer cover for this condition in their BonComprehensive and Bonitas Standard Option plans.
  • The MedBonus and MedPlusoptions from Medshield similarly make provision for acne treatment as do Momentum Health, although they have simply places acne on their additional disease list and members can obtain cover through the Incentive Option or the Extender Option offered by Momentum.

It is vital to check with the medical aid scheme before seeking treatment. Even if the treatment of acne is covered, there may be limitations and some schemes require prior approval.  

Acne may be irksome and embarrassing but it is not a serious health threat. If the problem is not addressed, however,permanent scarring of the skin can occur. Younger people also tend to develop emotional problems because they feel ashamed of their physical appearance and in such cases it is certainly worth it to seek medical help. © Medical Aid Plan

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