When 32-year-old Rorisang Gumede’s* husband started showing severe flu-like symptoms, the couple feared the worse. This was two months ago, and just as South Africa started reporting almost daily increases in the number of coronavirus-related deaths. So, their fears were not unfounded.
With two toddlers who are in constant need of medical attention for nicks and bruises, their medical aid cover takes quite a dent from month to month. Medical aid schemes in South Africa currently reimburse doctors and specialists at 100%, 200% or 300% of the scheme rate. In reality, however, professional medical providers may charge up to five times the base tariff.
“I didn’t want to tap into our cover before first trying home treatments. In the past, I had experiences where our medical aid was exhausted because of over-the-counter medication and doctors’ inflated rates.”