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SA's No 1 Insurance Blog

What if you can’t provide proof of previous medical aid scheme membership?

Imagine this scenario.

A lady wanted to switch from her current scheme to another. They weren’t being charged late joiner penalties at all.

They submit their application and a week later the offer comes back slapping them both with 25% late joiner penalties. The monthly cost rockets from the R3, 880 I had quoted, to R4, 609 per month (What’s 750 bucks between friends anyway?). I just know I’m about to get an earful.

Why then the late joiner penalties?

When they filled in the application form, they had only entered the information for their current medical aid scheme which started in 2002. The new scheme then ‘assumed’ that they weren’t on a scheme prior to 2002.

A 25% penalty meant that the “guilty” party hadn’t been on a scheme for anywhere between 5 and 14 years.

So this is what we did.

After I got the earful, I asked her to request all their previous membership certificates. Now you can imagine that this could get complicated – neither of them is spring chickens. Her husband turned 35 way back in 1989.

But that’s when the manure hit the fan…His previous company no longer existed. No company meant no membership certificates.

So here is how we got around that:

I asked them to have a sworn affidavit witnessed by a commissioner of oaths. In the affidavit they had to state that they had both had continuous medical aid membership from the age of 35.

I sent this off to the medical aid, and voila…late joiner penalties were removed.

What’s the takeaway?

  1. When the application form asks for details of all previous medical scheme memberships, don’t just write down your current membership details. You’re not going to bypass the problem.
  2. Don’t just accept an unfair late joiner penalty. Pop down to your local police station and make that sworn affidavit. But remember, this isn’t a “get out of jail free” card. If you tell a fib, and they catch you out, they’ll cancel your membership and never allow you back.

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