Why you should not cancel your medical care cover
Saving on your monthly contribution might sound like an honest idea until a family emergency and your hospital bill put a dent in your pocket. Here are a couple of reasons why canceling your medical care isn’t really a money-saver.
With each passing year, the value of living in South Africa becomes costlier – and therefore the annual increase in medical care contributions simply adds to the present cost. With this in mind, you’ll be tempted to cancel your medical care so as to chop down on expenses.
But while you’ll economize on your monthly contributions, canceling your medical care outright can have far-reaching negative consequences.
“Should you or someone in your family be faced with an emergency and wish to be admitted to hospital without a medical care policy, it is often absolutely devastating to your financial circumstances,” says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth Medical Scheme. “Even a basic operation like having your wisdom teeth removed where you’re only in the hospital for a couple of hours can cost upwards of R13 000.”
The main reason to not cancel your medical care is that you simply won’t have any medical cover in the least. So, do you have to get to be admitted to the hospital for any reason, or if you fall ill and wish chronic medication, you won’t have any financial help to buy these medical expenses?
While South Africa does have state-run medical facilities where you’re charged consistent with what proportion you’ll afford, these institutions are typically overcrowded and understaffed, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the care you would like. So, if you’d rather enjoy private medical aid, you’ll be responsible for a bill of thousands or maybe many thousands of Rands – which is way quite the value of your monthly medical care contributions.
Even if you think that you’re healthy and won’t incur medical expenses any time soon, accidents and illness can happen at any time – so it’s never an honest idea to travel without this safety net
Time Period for Waiting
Some people cancel their medical care policies when times are tough, with the intention of reinstating it again when they’re ready to afford their monthly contributions. “The problem with this is often that as a replacement member (even if you were a member before), you’ll presumably be subjected to a waiting period during which you’ve got to pay contributions but aren’t covered,” says Yatt.
The length of this waiting period will depend upon factors like your health and the way long you’ve been without medical care cover and may range from a 3 month general waiting period to a 12 month condition-specific waiting period.
Are hospital cash back plans an alternative?
Many people consider hospital cash back plans (HCBPs) as a possible alternative to a medical care policy, but these two products are literally completely different.
A medical care plan – including even the foremost basic hospital plan – will cover most if not all of your expenses do you have to be admitted to hospital, including doctor care, your hospital stay, and any take-home medication. In contrast, an HCBP pays you a daily cash amount while you’re in the hospital which is typically far but the value of a day’s stay in hospital.
So, what’s the alternative?
If you’re struggling financially and are considering abandoning your medical care, it’s worth watching the other avenues to save lots of money, instead of canceling your health coverage. Says Yatt, “Of all the expenses, medical care should be the last one to think about cutting, because if you would like to buy medical expenses, they’re extremely expensive.”
Instead hamper on non-essential expenses like entertainment and travel, and begin a monthly financial budget and stick with it. By taking these steps, you’ll find ways to stretch your money further monthly while still being covered do you have to end up needing medical aid .