Most of us are used to being told repeatedly that we only get what we pay for and, generally, this tends to be a reliable guideline. While this may be of little consequence when choosing somewhere to eat out or looking for a hotel not too far from the beach, when our health is at stake, it is comforting to know that finding an affordable medical aid scheme does not have to involve compromising on the benefits that we may be entitled to.
As the cost of private healthcare continues to grow, scheme operators consciously seek for ways to keep any necessary hikes in their premium prices to a minimum. One of the basic options has simply been to offer a range of products to ensure that there is something suitable for those in differing income groups or whose healthcare needs may differ. On this basis alone, many South Africans have been able to find affordable medical aid cover perfectly tailored to their needs. However, the introduction of expensive new technology and other factors have seen healthcare costs continue to escalate and this has called for a more innovative approach on the part of these non-profit companies.
One of the problems they must contend with is that, although there are recommendations governing the cost of consulting fees, surgical procedures, medication, disposables, and hospital accommodation, healthcare service providers are not legally bound to abide by them. In some instances, as much as five times the recommended rates are charged, making it gradually harder to maintain affordable medical aid premiums.
Members are advised to remain alert and check on such costs and, if necessary, consider changing their current service providers. What could possibly make more sense than to only deal with those service providers who are willing to abide by the recommended charges, or something close to them? Providing their members are willing to make use of these preferred service providers, they can expect to maximise the benefits they are entitled to whilst still enjoying affordable medical aid cover. However, members remain free to obtain treatment elsewhere if they choose to, but will be required to settle any excess costs from their own pockets or with the help of a gap cover insurance. More significantly, Medshield has succeeded in pulling off the seemingly impossible task of combining affordability with a sensible loyalty programme that actually enhances a member’s core healthcare benefits, rather than limiting them, while adding some attractive social benefits as well. When you choose to sign up with Medshield, your comprehensive yet surprisingly affordable medical aid package will include discounted fuel from Shell stations around South Africa, free telephonic legal advice, courtesy of JustRewards, as well as access to Elevate’s innovative online health and wellness portal.