Your medical scheme membership fees have gone up again. Is it worth it?
This is a question many younger, healthier people are asking, especially those who are buckling under bond and car repayments, on top of other expenses. With economic recession and its “aftershocks” still looming, many members of medical schemes are wondering whether they should cancel their membership or at least reduce this monthly expense. But, is this possible, without losing their cover?
The first “grudge expense” most people want to cancel is their medical scheme contribution. This contribution forms a big part of their budget and sometimes seems unnecessary.
Mr Marcel du Toit, chief executive of Optivest Health Services, says consumers should rather not cancel their medical scheme contribution if they are starting to feel the pinch. “First consider other possibilities, such as whether you can switch to a cheaper option in your current scheme.”
“Saving a few rand on your contribution could mean more cash in your pocket at the end of the month. If you are currently on a comprehensive plan, your family is fairly healthy and your daily expenses are not too high, it might be a good option to switch to a hospital plan or a network plan until economic conditions have stabilised.”
If your finances are tight and you have a choice between a hospital plan and no medical cover at all, the hospital plan is obviously preferable.
So, how does one choose between a basic hospital plan and a full comprehensive option?
Keep in mind the main differences between the two options: