Are Hospital Plans Better Than Medical Aids in South Africa?

  • September 29th, 2020

While some individuals have a cough and sniffle every other week, there are those fortunate enough to never seem to need a doctor. For people young and healthy enough, it may feel as though both hospital plans and medical aids are a waste of money, seeing as they hardly ever get sick or injured. It is recommended, however, that all South Africans (young and old) at least invest in the best hospital plans they can afford. So, how do these plans compare to medical aids, and is one better than the other? We get into why doing a little research is worth your while.

The Unpredictability of Health

As an individual’s health fluctuates with time, it is difficult to predict if and when emergency care will ever be needed. In a country such as South Africa, with high crime statistics, too many road accidents, and diseases like diabetes and hypertension on the rise, there is no way of knowing what your health will look like tomorrow. One moment you could be exercising and eating well, and the next face the need for emergency surgery. With this unpredictability in mind, it is essential to cultivate a safety net for yourself to ensure you don’t face financial ruin in the case of a medical emergency. Medical aids and hospital plans both offer this type of coverage, but they have a key difference.

Your medical aid will assist you in covering costs both in and out of a medical facility and is a type of risk-based insurance for which you pay monthly contributions. These premiums cover things like doctors’ visits, dental appointments, specialist consultations, and medication – all depending on the plan. Medical aids are ideal for families with children and older individuals who foresee a few out-of-hospital expenses each year and prefer not to pay these out of their pocket. People with chronic illnesses may also find that day-to-day medical expenses add up and find better coverage with comprehensive cover. Some individuals, however, can afford to cover these medical expenses on their own, especially in the case of younger, fit individuals who take special care of their health.

For those who see no need to pay monthly premiums for check-ups, screenings, and visits to the dentist, hospital plans are a great option. Hospital plans cover expenses that arise during emergency stays at hospitals. Overnight stays at medical facilities can become quite costly, and surgeries and procedures can rack up a bill that would take months or even years to pay off. Lower-income persons and those in fantastic health thus find hospital plans to be a preferable option.

At Medshield, our MediCore option is a fantastic solution for anyone seeking unlimited in-hospital coverage. This plan is carried through the Medshield Network with some procedures paid at the Medshield Private Tariff of 200%. This option does not offer any day-to-day benefits and works well for adults who can cover their own daily medical expenses. If you would like to find out more about our MediCore solution or any of our other coverage options, send us a message online at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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