The Pros and Cons of Choosing Hospital Plan Insurance - Medshield

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The Pros and Cons of Choosing Hospital Plan Insurance

Posted in Articles   |   July 24th, 2018

Hospital plan insurance, as a means to defray private healthcare costs, is an option that has been adopted by an increasing number of South Africans in recent years. Given the nature of the prevailing financial climate and the competitive pricing offered by this type of product, the need for such a choice is neither hard to explain, nor perhaps to sympathise with.

For many of those who choose this option, the provisions offered by such a scheme are likely to prove perfectly adequate in meeting with their requirements. However, it is equally certain that many others among those who choose this option, and whose sole motivation was to save on premiums, are likely to find that their choice could prove to be a false economy. In summary then, hospital plan insurance has both pros and cons.

The difference between these products and the more comprehensive type of cover provided by alternative products is evident, not so much in the extent of that cover, as in the circumstances under which it is applicable. As its name implies, this type of product is designed only to apply to those periods during which a member is residing in a recognised clinical establishment. Cover for healthcare expenses will commence upon the member’s admission and will usually cease immediately upon his or her discharge.

Once this overriding condition has been clearly understood, it becomes quite apparent that hospital plan insurance serves as the ideal choice for younger, single individuals who are normally free of any problems with their general state of health. For these, the prime concern is likely to be catering for the unexpected, such as an accidental injury, an emergency appendectomy or a bout of malaria. Newly graduated from varsity and embarking on a career, often means minimal disposable income for such purposes and so this limited form of cover presents a more affordable yet perfectly adequate option for those in this position.

For an older individual contemplating this option, it is very important that his or her disposable income is sufficient to meet all potential out-of-hospital medical expenses, such as medicines, basic dentistry and GP visits, before opting for hospital plan insurance rather than choosing a more comprehensive product. While the former may work well for an individual or a childless couple, it must be borne in mind that infants or young children, with their propensity for acquiring sudden and worrying ailments, could add a significant sum to those estimated day-to-day medical bills.

Like most consumer products, these plans may differ in quality or, more precisely, in terms of the value that they provide in return for your money. Related products sold by South Africa’s conventional insurance companies, are better described as hospital cash plans, for example. Though by far the cheapest option, these products pay fixed daily cash sums that fail to cover more than a small percentage of the actual treatment costs incurred during confinement and are more applicable to public healthcare or gap cover.

Among the many medical aid schemes operating in South Africa today, there are few that match the experience of Medshield. Established in 1968, our innovative products are all carefully designed to provide our members with greater benefits in exchange for lower premiums, including our exceptionally comprehensive hospital plan insurance.

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