Be cautious when selecting a medical scheme

February 15, 2011

From I-Net Bridge

Recent high-profile liquidations of medical aid schemes in SA have highlighted the importance for consumers of making a very careful choice when selecting which medical scheme to join.

This is according to Linza van Aswegen, director at the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) and chair of the FIA’s healthcare executive committee.

“While members of insolvent schemes are sometimes given the option to transfer to new schemes, this is not always the case.

“In such cases, it is vital to engage the services of a specialist healthcare broker as some consumers may either be subject to a three-month waiting period or in some cases condition-specific exclusions from the new medical aid scheme.”

Van Aswegen adds that, if the customer already suffers from a non-prescribed minimum benefit chronic condition, it is crucial to establish which schemes and options will pay for the specific chronic medicine used by the member.

“As a result, members should not join a new scheme without confirming whether they will provide the specific medicine.”

Van Aswegen says it is important to obtain the advice of a qualified and accredited healthcare broker when navigating the various medical schemes on offer.

“Choosing the right scheme can prove to be quite a minefield, so it is vital consumers take the time to speak to a broker as they can explain any potential risks as well as analysing the client’s lifestyle to ascertain what scheme would be most suitable.”

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