In recent years a number of medical aid schemes started emerging. The result is that the South African public has a long list of schemes to choose from. Such a long list can cause a major headache. To make things even further worse the medical funds offers a long list of various options and benefits to choose from.
Lets look at some of the best-known and popular medical schemes available in South Africa today.
Discovery Medical Aid is probably the most popular medical aid scheme in South Africa. This status was not sucked out of the thumb but statistics can prove their status. Discovery Health is the largest private funder of health care with more than 2 million members. This equates to a 40% market share in the industry. Their success can be attributed to the fact that Discovery’s administration has the ability to manage the very complex South African health care funding environment. In 2009 it’s rating was upgraded to an AA+ rating and in 2010 they maintained this rating. Discovery Health Medical Scheme options benefits the low-income to up to the high-income groups.
BestMed is administered by Sanlam Healthcare Management (SHM), which is recognized by the South African Council for Medical Schemes. In January 2000 the new Medical Schemes Act was implemented to allowing the availability of private health care to everyone. Therefore BestMed is a non-profit medical aid scheme. Bestmed provide security to their members, which is the medical scheme’s departure point. Traditional benefit structures ranges from a savings account for day-to-day use to new generation benefits. All unused funds in a member’s savings account that was not used in a benefit year is then transferred to the next benefit year.
Bonitas Medical Aid
Bonitas Medical Aid provides medical benefits to South Africans for the past 28 years. The company is also a non-profit organization that exists to see to the needs of their members. Bonitas act in the best interests of their members and their beneficiaries through the provision of relevant benefit options that can be easily understood. Value for money is a top priority in the company as well as adhering to the highest standards of financial and corporate governance.
Momentum Medical Aid
Momentum Health is part of the Momentum Group – a leading provider of insurance and asset management. Momentum appointed Financial Planners who will provide the best possible solutions for their members when it comes to healthcare. Momentum Health is the fourth largest organization in South Africa and owns nearly 10% of the market share. Momentum Health offers several benefits to their members such as HealthReturns where a member can earn up to R5 400 a year if they meet certain requirements.
GEMS (Government Employees Medical Scheme)
GEMS Medical Scheme is a restricted medical scheme only available to government employees. GEMS strive to provide the best possible health care at the most affordable rates to government employees and their families. This allows the lower income groups with greater access affordable health. Through GEMS the South African Government is empowered provide more employees the opportunity to improve their health and well-being and which in turn have a positive impact on productivity levels in the public service sector.
It is very important to research the various medical aid schemes to before making a choice. These five schemes are the most common medical aid schemes in South Africa and serve as a starting point for research.