This time of the year being a member of a medical aid is as stressful as your daughter getting married or your favourite pet being run over by your kind neighbour.

The pressure of having to make a choice as to whether you continue with the same plan as you are on this year, with the increase in monthly contribution OR whether you downscale or upscale can create a medical event in its own right.

Let me discuss simple solutions to lessen somewhat of the burden:

Talk to your financial advisor. Analyse the medical expenses you have had this year. How much of it was paid by your medical scheme and how much did you have to cough up?

Compare the cover you have this year against the cover for the same plan you have in 2016.

[we know this in itself is stressful – just persist. You need to know the differences.]

Look at your monthly budget – can you afford to pay the new contributions for next year? If not, what are your options with the current medical scheme?

Think carefully when making a decision to change:

Do you have major out of hospital expenses? Will you have fewer chronic conditions covered if you downgrade? Does the hospital plan you are considering cover you at 100%; 200% or 300% of the medical scheme’s rate? Do you have the reserves to meet a shortfall if you were to be hospitalised unexpectedly? Are you losing some of the “freebies” your current plan incorporates, e.g. a mammogram; free GP visits? Are there upfront payments required for scans in hospital; does the oncology benefit reduce or stay the same?

Talking to your best friends about their medical plans is not a sensible way of making decisions regarding your medical aid requirements. You either need to talk to your financial advisor or do the work yourself.

Compare the affordable options open to you for 2016 with what you have now – it avoids the surprise and tension which arise when you are suddenly confronted with a medical event which your current plan covered but which now is not covered or where the benefit of it has reduced significantly.

Water and air we need to live. Medical aid cover we need to live without the worry that we may not be able to pay from our meagre reserves the costs which inevitably occur.

And once the decision is made and you understand your benefits for 2016, relax. Take a day at a time and be grateful for the fact that we have a superb industry, well organised and able to take care of you.

Ternary Financial Services CC advises our clients on their choices across six Medical Schemes – isn’t time we talked?

By |2017-05-26T13:52:59+00:00October 23rd, 2015|