Many people get confused about what type of medical insurance to sign up for. There really are a variety of options available to suit any of your needs and your back pocket. But what do you really require from the service provider who attends to your medical needs? Also, you need to ask yourself what your future needs might be. Are you planning on having children one day? If you already have children do they need cover? Perhaps you are involved in a dangerous hobby such as motocross or you suffer from a chronic illness such as asthma. This means you must have some kind of medical cover in case something happens and you land up in hospital.


The two most popular types of medical cover are a hospital plan and a comprehensive medical aid. They are very different in their offering and they are substantially different when it comes cost. However, each option must be explored on their own grounds and merit. Also, it’s worthwhile discovering the differences in benefits between each option as this is where you will really score a deal or not. Hospital plans and fully comprehensive medical aid will both cover you, within medical rates, when admitted into hospital. However, not all doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists and the like operate within medical aid rates. This means that if you’re on a hospital plan alone you will likely have to pay in to cover the costs of a medical professional who charges above medical aid rates. When you’re on a comprehensive medical aid you are likely to have funds available in a savings account or a similar option that can cover the additional costs.


Medical cover options are tricky to navigate and understanding how to find the best option can be daunting to say the least. You are likely to need help, says Fred Hurter, Managing Member at Chrismar Healthcare Consultants, “With the cost of living being so high, members are always looking for the best priced medical aid that can offer them a wealth of benefits. It is highly recommended that they make use of the services of an intermediary also known as broker services.” So, essentially you should consider contacting a broker.


Hospital plans vs comprehensive medical aid: here is a basic overview of the differences

When comparing hospital plans vs. comprehensive medical aid the outcomes boil down to what you’re covered for and what you will have to pay for yourself. And, we all know that medical procedures and all that goes with them costs a fortune by anybodies standards.


Comprehensive medical aid

Medical aid schemes are required, by law to offer the prescribed minimum benefits. This means they will cover a variety of different medical conditions which include the likes of HIV, diabetes and heart conditions. Some hospital plans will cover some chronic conditions but comprehensive medical aid covers everything. And, when you’re very sick that’s exactly what you need. Medical aids are also very particular as there are penalties involved if you sign up for medical aid for the first time and you’re over 39 years of age. These penalties even apply if you were on medical aid but stopped it for a short period of time for whatever reason (in most cases this is a financial decision). In order to make the most of a medical aid plan you need to start early on in life. What’s more, a medical aid will cover your annual visits to doctors and specialists. A hospital plan won’t do the same. Annual visits to the gynaecologist, the optometrist or the dentist can cost a fortune. Because if this, many people don’t go and this can be dangerous to their health. With comprehensive medical aid you’re given a set amount of visits to various types of medical professionals so you can keep your health in check.


Hospital plans

Hospital plans are often the beginner’s option for medical aid. It’s an entry level and a more affordable option to comprehensive medical aid cover. Comprehensive medical aid charges very high monthly premiums as they are happy to cover every medical emergency or incident in which you’ll need medical cover. However, there are very strict regulations in place that can prohibit the paying member from having all of their necessary procedures and medication covered. Comprehensive medical aids can be restrictive. A hospital plan is most suitable to fit, healthy and younger people. It costs them less in premiums per month which suits, as they need less cover for fewer medical procedures or surgeries. Hospital plans also offer different types of cover to suit your budget so, for instance, you might choose cover that only applies to major surgery and so on. However, this doesn’t give you the peace of mind that a comprehensive medical cover will give.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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