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Can I have medical aid and medical insurance at the same time?

By now, many people are clued up on the difference between medical aid and medical insurance. Though similar, they are in fact different products with different benefits and different general price points. A common question, however, is whether or not a person can have medical aid and medical insurance policies running concurrently.

The short answer is yes, you can.


You are allowed to have more than one medical insurance, more than one medical aid cover, or both at the same time. It is perfectly legal. But, all the policies will not pay out at the same time. So, for one hospital stay, you cannot use both policies, if one doesn’t cover the entire bill. One emergency per cover (at a time).

Different cover plans allow for different procedures and pay out different amounts to hospitals or into your account. It is common practice for people to have a primary medical benefit and a secondary one.

So, for example, you can have your main medical aid account that you use for everything from doctors’ visits to hospital stays, and then when the funds are depleted for the year – which can happen fairly quickly if you are sickly – you have a back-up insurance plan in place for emergencies.


Another common situation is when children are placed under medical aid by both parents. Each of the parents could each have his/her own medical aid or insurance scheme provided by his/her respective employers, cover that includes dependants.


Most medical aids aren’t unlimited. They have pockets of money called ‘savings benefits’ from which all expenses apart from hospital admission. The savings benefit can deplete long before the end of the year, which may leave the need for extra cover. This is why some people purchase medical insurance as a back-up or safety net.

Employer Medical Cover

Having two medical cover plans can be beneficial in the event that you are covered by your employer. Having your own insurance as a back-up ensures that in the event that you change employment, or lose your job, you still have cover.

Minimal OOP

By having multiple plans, you will most likely avoid having to pay for anything out of pocket. Hospital stays, medication at the pharmacy and day-to-day claims can be covered.

Should you have both?

It isn’t necessary to have both, but if you can afford it, it will certainly give you extra peace of mind.
You are less likely to deplete your medical cover funds by year end, and there is nothing wrong with covering all your bases.

Although it can be costly to maintain two premiums for health cover, medical aid is pricier than insurance, but having both can certainly burn a hole in your pocket.

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