Medical aid in South Africa allows any person of any income level to sign up for cover. However, it is important to have a stable income in order to afford the premiums every month. If your monthly income is low and you are on a very tight budget then there is no need to write off the possibility of sign up for medical aid cover. Many schemes have special plans in place for low income workers and families. The benefits may be lower, access to hospitals restricted to certain groups and all the extra frills may be trimmed but you can still rest assured of access to at least some private health services.
In a country where the public health sector is so overburdened, even low income earners should look at medical aid if they can spare a few hundred rands per month. Without medical aid you have to opt for the government hospitals and clinics unless you have large amounts of cash at your disposal. Medical aid ensures that you will be admitted to a private hospital and receive treatment from private doctors and specialists even if your do not have cash to pay for these services upfront.