Medical aid: Why you’re paying through your neck

2013-09-03 14:33

The Council for Medical Schemes released its annual report in Pretoria today. Zinhle Mapumulo picks five factors that drive the cost of your medical aid.

A medical scheme’s performance and its health and nonhealthcare expenditure impact on the amount you contribute towards your private healthcare insurance every month.

These primary factors drive high costs most:

» Medical aid members bypass general practitioners and go straight to medical specialists for minor illnesses that can be treated by normal doctors. Schemes are forced to increase member contributions because specialists could cost more than double for a consultation compared with what a GP would charge;

» Medical scheme members are aging and, as a result, are hospitalised more often;

» Half of patients who are admitted to hospital undergo a surgical procedure that requires the presence of two or more specialists, including an anaesthetist;

» Schemes spend close to R8.8 billion of your money on administration and spend an additional R1.4 billion on brokers. The Council for Medical Schemes believes there is no need for broker fees to be added to member contributions as they increase the amount the member has to pay every month; and

» Small schemes are merging with bigger ones, because they lost their membership. As a result, the contributions are increased for the new scheme members who join the bigger scheme.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.