Choosing a medical aid plan can be daunting! Actually it can be downright nightmarish. Am I picking the right healthcare provider – should I go with Discovery Health or Liberty Life? Which plan type is the right one for my family and I? Do I network myself to a specific service provider for a discount in premium? Just a few of many, many questions running around in your head seconds before you finally put pen to paper and commit to a few thousand Rand’s each and every month. Have you made the right decision? Fingers crossed!
Picking a medical aid plan shouldn’t be guess work. If you follow a few easy steps, it’s pretty easy. Before you even look at any medical aid marketing material you should be taking a step back and looking closely at yourself and your specific healthcare needs. This is step one. Sure, price is important, but looking closely at your own personal situation will allow you to narrow down your choices and find the coverage you are looking for.
No matter which way you look at it, how old and, specifically, how healthy you are, will be a major factor in deciding the appropriate level of healthcare coverage.
Do you remember your twenties?
Care free years (especially your early twenties) when most of your time was spent checking out the talent and drinking beer (well that’s if you are a bloke). You partied all night, woke up with a babbelas, and still trudged through a half marathon (albeit at a snail’s pace). You were as fit as a fiddle, never felt better and seemingly bulletproof. Did you even see a GP in your twenties? Perhaps on the odd occasion for a cough or flu meds.
Then you hit your thirties and started a family.
‘Partying’ was replaced with more serious work which meant more stress. You had fewer gym sessions but bigger financial commitments. That six pack was gradually replaced with a single barrel and your hair started thinning out. You started counting calories, developed high cholesterol and did the whole annual medical check-up thing.
Immediately you can see the picture I’m painting. Your healthcare requirements are very much linked to your life stage. How old are you? How healthy are you?
The younger you are the less coverage you need. In your twenties, perhaps all you need is healthcare cover for major medical emergencies. You don’t see GP’s so you don’t require a medical savings facility. In your thirties, a more comprehensive cover for the entire family is needed, but perhaps a network hospital option to keep costs lower. In your forties and fifties, perhaps the Rolls Royce medical aid offering with all the bells and whistles because you are at the highest risk of being diagnosed with cancer or having a heart attack, and all the kids still require dental work which costs a fortune.
At retirement you need to be on the best healthcare plan your money can buy. Take a tumble at 90 and there is a good chance you’ll have a few broken bones. Any idea how much emergency room treatment costs?
How old am I? How healthy am I? How much coverage do I need?
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Until next time.
The InsuranceFundi Team