3 questions to guide you when choosing a medical aid plan

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Trying to decide on what’s best for you can be quite daunting as there are so many different medical aid plans to choose from. (Image: Supplied)
Trying to decide on what’s best for you can be quite daunting as there are so many different medical aid plans to choose from. (Image: Supplied)

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only highlighted the fact that health is our most valuable asset but also the importance of having medical aid cover to support you through life’s challenges. There are many different plans on offer. Here’s how to choose the best one for you.

One of the biggest lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that no one is invincible. Regardless of age or how healthy or wealthy we may be, each and every one of us is vulnerable when faced with a crisis of this magnitude.

The pandemic has also emphasised just how important the right medical aid cover can be when it comes to helping us to finance life’s unexpected health challenges, whether big or small. 

How to choose the right medical aid plan for you

Trying to decide on what’s best for you can be quite daunting as there are so many different medical aid plans to choose from.

Everyone has different requirements and needs so there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. How do you make this all-important decision in a way that really addresses your requirements?

These three questions should help you to find your best option:

1. What are my needs?

Your primary objective is to decide what you want your medical aid plan to do for you, says Discovery Financial Consultant Claire van Wyk. “Your age, state of health and life stage are of primary importance in answering this question. Do you have a family or are you planning to have one? Do you or any of your family members (dependants) have any current medical issues? Bear in mind that the older you are the more medical cover you will most likely need as your risk for chronic health conditions (and chronic medication) does increase with age”.

Your medical needs will determine whether you need cover for, say:

  • GP and Specialist visits
  • Dentistry and optometry
  • Chronic illness
  • Maternity care 
  • Mental health care
  • Oncology
  • Home care

All of these elements need to be considered when it comes to making your decision. Provision should also be made for any unexpected medical curve balls that life may throw your way. And, it’s also important to annually review your medical aid plan as your medical needs do change with time.

Find out more about comprehensive benefits and cover offered by Discovery Health Medical Scheme.

2. What are the plans that meet my needs?

“Plans are broken down into Hospital plans, Saver type plans and more Comprehensive plans, that have above threshold benefits”, explains Claire, “Knowing your needs helps match to the plan type that may best accommodate them.

For example, a Comprehensive plan – if well discussed and assessed on your needs - may seem rather expensive at first until you look at your out-of-pocket expenses. When you add them in and consider what the Comprehensive plan offers you in terms of benefits covered you may find it more cost effective.

In the same way, while a hospital plan option may be more affordable than full medical aid cover, going this route should also be carefully assessed and will depend on your individual needs. A qualified financial adviser will be able to guide your steps here”.    

Read up on Discovery Health Medical Scheme medical aid plan options and 2021 contributions.

Watch our helpful video to better understand how your Discovery Health Medical Scheme plan works?

3. What can I afford?

Another crucial consideration is your budget, says Claire. “As a general guideline opt for the best medical aid plan available in your price range to ensure that you’re adequately covered health-wise and are not financially strained. Budgeting for your medical aid is critical to ensuring that you have medical cover when you need it most”.

It’s also essential to do your homework before signing on the dotted line so carefully research all the terms and conditions so that you understand exactly what’s being offered. If you don’t feel comfortable about making the decision without advice, have a chat with an independent financial adviser or medical aid consultant. They’ll be able to help you to choose the option that best suits your needs and your wallet.

Read up on how the Discovery Health Medical Scheme medical savings account works (MSA) and Smart plans

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Discovery Health.

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