South African medical aids do not refuse membership to any person irrespective of their health status and pre-existing conditions. HIV positive people are often concerned about whether they qualify for medical aid membership in South Africa. The bottom line is YES. A person with HIV and AIDS can become a member of a medical aid. However, there may be some restrictions for a period of time regarding to cover for medical bills related to these conditions.
The treatment for infertility is largely dependent on the underlying cause. When it is associated with specific diseases, then the proper treatment and management of these diseases may resolve the infertility problem. Medical aids cover the treatment of these diseases that could be contributing to infertility. For example, hypothyroidism which is an underactive thyroid gland may lead to infertility yet pregnancy is possible when this condition is properly treated and managed.
Students may sometimes opt to take their own medical aid separately from parents, or at times are forced to resign from a parent’s medical aid. With limited resources at their disposal, students often search for the cheapest medical aid possible. However, it is important to realise that in South Africa there is no specific medical aid that is significantly cheaper than another yet offers the same benefit. In other words, it is not about cheap medical aid but more correctly about a cheaper medical aid plan. Foreign students who are studying in South Africa need to be aware that they are required to have medical aid cover. Sometimes they are misled into buying other forms of health insurance which is not a true medical aid.
Unfortunately there are instances when administration errors arise and medical aid members have to bear the brunt for incompetence on the part of medical aid members or even otherwise simple mistakes. However, there are probably very few errors that can be as upsetting as being told that you have died and are therefore no longer part of the medical aid. It happens even in this day and age (2012) and it can be one of the most frustrating errors to have to correct. Not only does it end up being an inconvenience to the alive and well medical aid member, it can also put or her in a severely compromising financial position should medical bills not be paid to providers.
The best medical aid in South Africa, like the cheapest medical aid, are highly sought after companies and products that essentially do not exist. The fact of the matter is that no medical aid can truly claim to be better than another. All medical aids essentially offer the same products with the same benefits at approximately the same price. Some medical aid companies have a larger member base. Others have a stronger financial record with larger reserves. However, whether these factors alone can be considered to make one medical aid the best from the lot depends on perception.
Open medical aids are schemes that are open for membership by any person. It is not restricted to workers of certain sectors of industry within South Africa. Neither does it have specific requirements in terms of academic criteria, or membership to certain trade unions or professional associations. While open medical aids account for a smaller number of schemes when compared to restricted medical aids, it is usually financially stable and efficient private entities that provide a quality service. Any person looking for medical aid cover outside of their industry should consider speaking to individual schemes mentioned in the list of medical aids below.
As with any product or service, we are all looking for the best option at the cheapest price. However, cheap medical aid is actually a myth similar to the idea of the “best medical aid” in South Africa. The fact of the matter is that no medical aid is significantly cheaper or more expensive than another. There are cheaper and more expensive plans within every medical aid but this is due to the differences in benefits offered on each plan. Sometimes it is just a matter of common sense. If there was a cheap medical aid in South Africa then in all likelihood it would drive all other schemes out of the market. However, there is over 100 medical aids in existence in South Africa, about 30 of which are open to the general public and they are all doing fairly good business.
There is probably no other time in life that one will need medical aid more than in the senior years. As we get older, our body becomes prone to a host of chronic diseases that require ongoing treatment and professional management which can be costly. Apart from diseases, the normal age related changes in the body that can cause discomfort and impairment is distressing without adequate medical care.
Although there is no specific medical aid for pensioners, and any medical aid will accept senior citizens, it is important to know some of the issues that arise with joining a medical aid late in life. It is always advisable that pensioners and senior citizens do not consider giving up the medical aid that they currently have in a bid to search for cheaper cover at a later date. Switching over to another medical aid may be one option but at the end of the day all medical aids are essentially the same.
There is just over 100 medical aids in South Africa, a few of which are open schemes while the rest are restricted. This number may seem like there is an oversupply of medical aids in the country, and to some extent there is, but it is important to realise that most medical aids cater only for certain industries, professionals or unions. As long as the South African economy remains as diverse as it currently is, there is no doubt that there will continue to be a large number of medical aids in existence. Similarly there is a matter of consumer choice – some people prefer one scheme while others another. There is a difference between open and restricted medical aid schemes and understanding how the two differ can help prospective members make an informed decision.
The bottom line is that no medical in South Africa covers the pre-existing pregnancy costs if a woman joins a scheme once already pregnant. Certain mitigating circumstances may be taken into consideration to acquire cover but this is rare. However, this should not detract pregnant women from joining a medical aid immediately. The cover on medical aid for the newborn baby, non-pregnancy costs and future pregnancies still makes medical aid a sensible choice.