Medical Aid Plan - How to Choose a Medical Scheme

How to Choose a Medical Scheme  

There can be no argument that it is important to be a member of a medical scheme in South Africa. It is the only way in which ordinary people are able to afford the very best medical care when they become ill, when they are in need of emergency treatment and when a medical calamity occurs.

How to Choose a Good Medical SchemeHowever, choosing a medical scheme and a specific plan is not an easy task. There are many excellent schemes in South Africa and they offer a myriad of plans. How does one actually choose a plan that will satisfy your individual and unique needs whilst suiting your budget? Here are a few important factors to consider: 

  • Have a good look at your financial position. Far too many people think that they cannot afford comprehensive medical plans. The truth is that many people simply do not understand the fact that medical cover is a high priority. They will happily pay for car and home insurance but they still think that medical cover is a luxury. The truth is simple: losing a car or other assets is not nearly as calamitous as the loss of health and the inability to afford the very best medical care when it becomes a priority. It is vital to view health cover as a very high priority and to rather cut down on expenses in other areas rather than to forego membership of a medical aid plan that will ensure quality private care.
  • Make sure you choose the best scheme. It would be very difficult to say just which scheme is the best. However, the law requires medical schemes to retain at least twenty five percent of their contributions as reserves in order to make sure that they remain able to pay claims. Schemes that struggle to maintain this solvency rate are apt to charge more and they may be more inclined to settle claims quickly. Ask your medical aid broker to tell you about the financial position of the scheme you are considering.
  • Some schemes charge according to income. It may be useful to keep this in mind because wealthier members with higher incomes will inevitably subsidize members with lower incomes.
  • Check the service record of the medical scheme by visiting a few consumer feedback websites. If the scheme is the target of many complaints it may be best to consider another scheme. Most medical schemes are members of reputable consumer sites such as
  • An independent medical broker can be of great help. They are not associated with any specific scheme and they are often able to best advice about a plan that will suit your specific needs and budget. They offer the added advantage of acting as go-between when claims need to be made or when disputes arise.
  • Use the internet to conduct research. There are a number of sites that will produce several quotations based upon the same set of personal information. This makes it easier to compare apples with apples.
  • If you have questions approach the relevant scheme directly. If they are not willing to clarify queries in writing or to commit themselves to a definite answer then it may be best to move on. 

Everybody should strive towards medical aid membership. The question is how to choose the right one. After all: your health is the most important asset you could possibly have. It is worth it to take some time and trouble in selecting the best plan at the best price.  © Medical Aid Plan