Medical Aid Plan - Clientele Hospital Cover

Clientele Hospital Cover Compared to Medical Aid

Hello! Today we would like to discuss an important topic: the matter of a hospital plan such as Clientele hospital cover and how it differs from medical aid.

We confirm that these are two entirely distinct creatures. Do not confuse them or you may discover the difference too late – and literally to your cost!

Clientele Hospital Cover as an Example

We are using Clientele as an example because it is popular health insurance in South Africa.

Just look at the way Clientele describes its mission and products:


The Clientele Health Event Life Plans (H.E.L.P Plans) offers you insurance to protect you and your family against the unforeseen costs related to hospitalisation*. These insurance plans provide you with cash pay outs to ease the burden of unexpected expenses. Cash for you to use as you choose.


Do you see the way it does not say anything about the hospital bills themselves, let alone the cost of doctors, specialists, medication, consumables and rehabilitation? That is because Clientele hospital cover does not relate to any of these!

Yes, it’s hard to believe but Clientele hospital cover is just that – insurance. All it does is pay out a set price per day for the number of days you are in hospital. Even then these kinds of products pay only from day 3 in hospital, or similar. And payouts are capped to a certain number of days in hospital – say 10 days.

All that a Clientele hospital plan is supposed to cover is the cost ASSOCIATED with you being in hospital – costs like transport to the hospital for your family, groceries, airtime and school expenses.

A hospital stay, especially in a private hospital in South Africa, can costs hundreds of thousands of rand – not to mention the specialists’ bills.

You can see that it would be disastrous for you to depend on a hospital plan such as Clientele hospital cover for all your health care needs.

Preposterous in fact!

Medical Aid is the Way to Go, Not Health Insurance

There are major benefits to signing up with a proper medical scheme in addition to plain medical insurance such as that offered by Clientele hospital cover.

The main benefits: 

Medical aids have to register with the Council for Medical Schemes in Pretoria. They are statutorily controlled and must, by law, retain a massive level of reserve funding (currently 25%) to ensure they remain financially sound.

Medical schemes are non-profit (unlike Clientele hospital cover, for instance) and are administered by for-profit companies to ensure they have a commercial bent, which serves the public in the best way possible.

Registered medical schemes in South Africa must, by law, provide certain minimum benefits to everyone who signs up with them. These are called Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs). So you have legal protection and the peace of mind knowing you have proper health cover.

All medical aids recognise that South Africans are financially under pressure. Therefore they have created many, many affordable hospital plans to choose from – perhaps too many. (That’s why we supply a form below this article where you can apply online for competitive quotes from a variety of officially approved medical schemes.)

So you can see that any healthcare cover from a registered medical scheme is going to be much better than plain Clientele hospital cover.

In accordance with the comment above – that medical aids supply hospital plans – we want to issue a warning:


By law, a company issuing health insurance (such as Clientele hospital cover) may not present itself as a hospital plan. It is NOT a hospital plan. It is just a plain insurance policy that pays out a certain amount of cash if you land in hospital. It pays no hospital or specialist bills at all – nor any other direct health expenses.

And that is NOT a hospital plan. All it is, is health insurance.

So which medical aids offer hospital plans?

The short answer is: all of them.

Hospital Plans from Medical Schemes in South Africa

Here is a list of ten medical aids whose database we scour for good hospital plan deals:

  • Discovery –by far the largest scheme in the country and open to all
  • Topmed – not well-known but reputable and financially sound
  • Bonitas – voted most popular among consumers and growing fast
  • Hosmed – solid and well-establised medical aid with a good reputation
  • Bestmed – members swear by this scheme, which has affordable offerings
  • Selfmed – a large and reliable scheme with half a century of experience
  • Medihelp – members rarely leave this reliable medical scheme
  • Sizwe – a scheme with a fascinating history, Sizwe serves all South Africans
  • Momentum – the third largest scheme in SA, linked to Firstrand
  • Genesis – a robust, competitive scheme with easy-to-understand products

Hot tip! 

Take a look at the Genesis website. It is amazing for its ease of use. Best of all, it offers just two hospital plans. You are bound to find an affordable hospital plan from Genesis medical aid, which is a respected, small, powerful medical aid in South Africa.

Why You Should Apply via the Form Below the Article for Your Hospital Plan Quote

Medical scheme experts in South Africa agree on the following: There are way too many medical aid hospital plans in South Africa – hundreds in fact – making it all but impossible for ordinary people to make any meaningful comparisons.

By completing and submitting the form on this page, you are giving us permission to dig into all the major medical schemes to find the perfect hospital plan or even full medical aid with a savings account.

That’s why we ask for detailed information – so that our in-house experts can quickly identify the most affordable medical aid or hospital plan that provides the benefits that you and your family need.

Rest assured that your information will be used only once, for the purpose of finding the correct medical aid quotes and then submitting them to you for your consideration.

We ask no fee for this. However, if you sign up the medical aid administrator will pay us a small fee.


Medical-Aid-Plan Advisors

Next step:

Complete and submit this form:



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