What are cheaper alternatives to medical aid?
Medical aid is expensive. In South Africa, purchasing cover for a family of four can cost anything from R4000 and upwards. Besides day-to-day doctor cover and hospital expenses, medical aid also covers several chronic medications and other specialist consultations. Unfortunately, it is still a luxury purchase, no matter how necessary it is for the well-being of you and your family. The truth is that most people in South Africa simply cannot afford the cost of having medical aid cover, and have had to negate it, in order to budget for other necessities like food, housing and school fees etc. Are there cheaper alternatives to medical aid?
Health insurance is a policy that pays out cash into your bank account when you need certain types of medical assistance. These plans include are day-to-day cover, hospital cover and combined plans available, depending on the specific needs of the policyholder.
Affinity Health insurance offers all three of these cover options.
A newer product than medical aid, medical insurance certainly did appear at the right time to try and help bridge the gap between private medical facilities and people who cannot afford medical aid. A product on its own, medical insurance is similar to medical aid, in the way that it allows for consumers to pay a monthly premium, which will, in turn, ensure that they are financially covered in the event of a medical emergency and eligible to be treated at private facilities.
The two key differences, however, are that medical insurance does not comply with the same medical aid board rules and is less costly, which means that the cover or cash given to customers is significantly less. Still, it serves as a catalyst for allowing people who aren’t able to afford private health care the same privilege as those who can.
Another way to avoid constant medical attention is to be health-conscious. There is no price that can be put on being healthy. Eating well, staying hydrated and exercising daily seems simple enough, but enough emphasis cannot be put on taking care of your body. Of course, the occasional check-up or flu vaccine is necessary, but eating loads of fruits and vegetables and steering clear of having a sedentary lifestyle can really keep you out the doctor’s office for most of the year.
If you do not have medical aid or medical insurance, staying physically fit is even more important. Illness costs money, unfortunately.
Family Doctor advises that what type of food you eat is directly linked to how healthy or unhealthy you will be. Remember, death starts in the gut.
As mentioned above, illness costs money – and if you do not have medical cover, a good option is to save whatever money you can as an ‘emergency stash’. Even though the amount you save each month may not be enough to cover s monthly premium, it can really help when you eventually need medical assistance.
It is important to note that in an emergency, government facilities are either free of charge or very low cost – the only difficulty you might encounter is extreme waiting periods for otherwise urgent procedures. Many government medical emergency rooms are also usually filled to the brim every day of the week, and even more so on weekends and holidays. So bear that in mind when in a pickle. The best way to mitigate this is to have a bit of a nest egg set aside.
A great tip is to save this money in a separate banking account, solely allocated to medical expenses. If you aren’t generally in need of medical care, you may feel tempted to use any extra savings for luxuries. Having this cash saved in a special account will help you practise restraint.
Still, having a medical insurance do this for you is much more advisable. By trusting ina medical insurance like affinity health, you ensure that the cash you receive is sent inside of the urgent period in which you need the finances. This way, you will only spend it on your medical bills instead of something frivolous.