It is certainly no easy task to choose from
the wide variety of medical aids that are available to South Africa. Not only are there a large number of reputable
schemes, but each one offers a number of different plans that all offer its own mix of benefits.
In addition, it is sometimes difficult to
compare the various plans with each other and especially to comprehend the terms and conditions inherent to each
It is no wonder that so many people are not
sure that they have chosen the plan best suited to their individual needs. This is where the services of medical
aid brokers can be extremely valuable.
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Most people realize that their health is their
most important and precious asset and that they must take steps to make sure that they will be receiving the very
best medical care when disease strikes or when accidents occur. Essentially, the many plans offered by medical
schemes can be divided into two rough categories:
plans offer members more benefits and typically provide cover for medical expenses incurred both in-
and out-of-hospital. Members have access to dentistry and optometry services, chronic medication and in
some cases advanced treatment programs. These plans can be expensive and many people simply cannot
afford this level of cover.
plans make provision for the payment of treatment that is provided during hospitalization. Some
hospital plans offer additional benefits such as over-the-counter medication and wellness programs, but
the focus remains the cover of hospital expenses.
Some good reasons for using
medical aid brokers
Brokers are not affiliated to a specific medical scheme and most successful professionals
are able to offer their clients a choice of plans from a variety of schemes. This allows brokers
to provide objective advice based purely on the needs of the
Brokers are better able to help their clients compare the benefits offered by different
plans and they are experienced in helping their clients understand the terms and conditions and
the potential pitfalls of individual plans. Brokers can also help their clients to assess their
own needs realistically and to prepare an appropriate budget.
Many people struggle to communicate with their schemes and they do not always know how to go
about obtaining authorization for certain procedures, treatments and hospitalization. A broker is
normally able to solve such problems quickly and efficiently. The broker can also help clients to deal
with conflict and to obtain answers from the scheme on behalf of the
member. (Read an interesting article about the wealth of the
medical aid schemes here.)
These professionals can help people to make sure that their medical cover
remains relevant and that their plans are upgraded as their circumstances and needs
It is very important to choose a broker that is truly independent. If the broker is tries
to coerce clients into choosing a specific scheme without offering viable alternatives then he
should probably be avoided. There are brokers that are not truly independent or that prefer the
plans from a specific scheme simply because the commission is more lucrative. Consumers should
not be embarrassed to ask brokers for proof that they are indeed representing several
The prospective broker must also provide proof that he is a registered member of the
Council for Medical Schemes.
Medical aid brokers can do much to help individuals and families to choose the right medical
cover. Care should be taken, however, to deal only with reputable professionals that have a good relationship with
the various schemes. © Medical Aid
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