The answer is simple: There isn’t one!
We have market leaders and schemes that come in at a close second but ultimately there isn’t a single medical aid that stands out above the rest.
The gist of it is that each medical scheme has their own attributes, but what it really boils down to is not which medical aid is the best, but rather which medical aid is best for you!
Amelia de Milander, Marketing & Communications Manager at Optivest Health Solutions recently stated that one cannot really put one medical scheme above another. “Even those medical schemes that are seen as the market leaders are not necessarily the best.”
It all depends on your healthcare needs and available budget. If you are still young and healthy, then you won’t need a comprehensive plan which would give you day-to-day benefits such as GP and dentist visits. “For those who do have chronic medication needs and are older and perhaps not so healthy anymore, there are also different options and plans to choose from,” she says. “Medical schemes are expensive, so if you only want cover should you fall ill or injured and need hospital treatment, then you can save a lot by not going for an expensive option that offers full benefits.”
Comparative Medical Aid Quotes
If bigger isn’t always better, then the best way to determine which medical aid is the right one for you would be to get a comparative quotation, based on a focused needs analysis.
Such a comparative quote can be obtained by visiting Medical Aid Search at www.medicalaidsearch.co.za that allows you to get a range of medical aid quotes with a few clicks of a button.
So, you’ve completed the needs analysis to get that quote, what now?
If knowledge is power, get ready to have the power placed directly in your hands! Below we will give you all the information you could possibly need to make an informed decision. Here we expose the statistic of the beneficiary’s toll, growth ratio and solvency ratio of the top open medical aid schemes for the 2013/2014 financial period.
Medical Aid Schemes Growth
|Scheme||Total Beneficiaries (2013)||Total Beneficiaries (2014)||Growth Ratio (2014)|
|Bestmed||187 750||191 902||3.31%|
|Bonitas||650 600||656 527||0.91%|
|Discovery||2 564 313||2 634 819||2.75%|
|Fedhealth||147 538||148 345||0.55%|
|Genesis||20 286||20 747||2.27%|
|Keyhealth||76 738||74 722||-2.63%|
|Liberty||118 281||116 488||-1.52%|
|Medihelp||220 710||223 131||1.1%|
|Medshield||79 907||76 459||-4.32%|
|Momentum||212 378||226 487||6.64%|
|Resolution Health||69 084||34 525||-50.02%|
|Sizwe||135 417||120 005||-11.38%|
|Spectramed||40 864||36 892||-9.72%|
|Topmed||30 786||45 392||47.44%|
Topmed showed a increase in membership between the 2013 and 2014 financial year with a beneficiary growth of 47.44%. On the other had, Resolution Health showed a decrease in membership with a loss of more than 50% in beneficiaries.
Why The Size of Your Medical Aid Scheme Doesn’t Matter
While many of the medical aid schemes have shown a steady growth ratio, others have declined rapidly. As mentioned before it is not necessarily the size of a medical scheme that matters, but rather scheme’s solvency ratio.
Brian Watson , Executive at Genesis, states that “it is the solvency ratio and the ability of a medical scheme to settle its member’s medical bills that matter”. In laymen terms, the higher a schemes solvency ratio, the better the odds are that your medical claims will be settled.
In The Council for Medical Schemes Circular 4 of 2013, the council stated “there is no proven benefit for members who belong to big medical schemes – in terms of lower costs as a result of economies of scale”. What this means is bigger isn’t always better, just because a medical aid scheme has more members it doesn’t necessarily reflect their sustainability or their ability to pay claims.
Medical Aid Scheme Solvency Ratio
The statutory requirement for a medical scheme’s solvency ratio is 25%, noted below is the solvency ratio for the 2013/2014 financial period for all South African medical schemes.
|Scheme||2013 Solvency Ratio||2014 Solvency Ratio||Solvency Growth Ratio|
As can seen above, even though Discovery Health is the biggest open medical aid scheme in South Africa, their solvency ratio is just above the minimum solvency ratio requirement. Another thing that can be seen is the reason for Resolution Health’s decline in membership. Having the lowest solvency ratio (8.10%), this might have led the scheme’s inability to settle its member’s medical aid claims and thus might be the reason behind the decline in membership.
Medical Aid Global Credit Rating
We have all seen medical aid global credit ratings, the ratings are usually presented as AA+ or BBB- but what is a global credit rating, who does this credit rating and why is it done?
What Is a Global Credit Rating?
A global credit rating is a reflection of an evaluation of the organisation’s (in this case medical aid schemes) current financial standing, as well as the expected future standing.
Who Does The Credit Rating?
An organisations credit rating is undertaken by the GCR or Global Credit Rating Company. The Global Credit Rating Company focuses on the fundamentals of an organisation, analysing both the historical as well as current financial situation and how that can affect changes in the medium term.
Why Is a Credit Rating Done?
A credit rating analysis is used as a platform for developing expectations relating to the organisations future risk profile and financial performance in both a good and stressed economical climate.
|Scheme||2013 Rating||2014 Raing|
The Best Medical Aid in South Africa
The statistics show that approximately 60% of all medical aids have shown a steady growth and that 97% have a solvency ratio above 25% (the statutory requirement). That coupled with a healthy Global Credit Rating across the board, leads us to the logical conclusion that there isn’t a single “best” medical aid. Only one that is best for you!
“At Optivest Health Solutions we see it everyday – the only way to make an informed decision is to fully understand all the risks and benefits involved, says Amelia.
The best way to find a medical aid scheme that will suit your medical needs and your pocket is to visit Medical Aid Search at www.medicalaidsearch.co.za.
Even though there are quite a few questions that need to be answered when applying for a medical aid quote, you can rest assured that the ends justifies the means. The more information the medical aid consultants receive, the better equipped they will be to identify the top medical schemes to suite your needs. Keep in mind that all of the consultants are trained professionals, and are fully capable to answer any related queries you may have.
Optivest Health Solutions is the fulfilment partner and accredited financial service provider for Medical Aid Search.