Top 5 Medical Aid Schemes in South Africa

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, public health has been at the centre of everyone’s attention. From lockdowns to social distancing, it’s natural to feel anxious about the health and safety of you and your family.

But how do you protect yourself while ensuring you get the best medical care possible? On top of health anxieties, there are also financial ones. How can you ensure that you get the best care possible without spending an arm and a leg?

In South Africa, health care is extremely pricey. A simple trip to the hospital can put a huge dent in your budget. It’s also no secret that just a small percentage of the country’s population can afford it.

However, having a medical aid scheme in place is one way to help relieve some of your financial stress. This is why we thought it would be helpful to gather a list of the top medical aids in South Africa and detail them for you, the consumer, to compare and select from.

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How to Choose The Best Medical Aid in South Africa

Picking the best affordable medical aid scheme depends on your financial, lifestyle, and health requirements. At the end of the day, the best medical aid scheme for you is one that caters to your private needs.

So, it’s best to compare medical aid schemes or get a medical insurance quote and see which one fits perfectly with your requirements.

Here are a few things to ask before you select your medical aid.

Do You Live an Active Lifestyle?

If you’re an active individual, it’s probably a good idea to look at medical aid schemes that are geared towards active people. Some medical schemes have incentive programs that reward you for being active.

Do You Have Pre-Existing Conditions?

If you have ongoing medical issues, you may require full medical coverage rather than just a hospital plan. If you are generally healthy but have issues like your eyesight, select a plan that has enough coverage for these issues.

What Can You Afford?

You also need to consider your finances. Some medical aids come with all the bells and whistles while cheaper ones are more simple and straightforward. Make sure you find out who offers the best deal for your family, as well as the specific amount of your monthly contributions.

 

So What Is The Best Medical Aid In South Africa?

Based on overall customer satisfaction and the services provided, Bestmed ranks as the best medical aid in South Africa. Compared to competitors, Bestmed offers Up to 75% less on co-payments.

Bestmed offers 13 comprehensive plans divided into three categories, with the Beat plan being the most affordable.

The Pace range is perfect for developing and established families due to its more complete features.

The Pulse plans include network-based medical coverage, as well as an income-based medical aid plan and an older-adult network alternative.

Bestmed offers an extensive healthcare provider network that gives you access to specialist and hospital networks across South Africa.

Bestmed’s Tempo Wellness Programme is also free for all members. The Wellness Programme includes free Health Assessments (previously HRA), and visits to dietitians. It also offers family interventions, workshops, and baby growth assessments.

Medical Aid Companies in South Africa

There are many medical aid companies offering plans suitable for your needs. Here’s a top 5 list of medical aids in South Africa.

BestMed

Bestmed is the largest self-administered medical aid scheme in South Africa. The system saves money by not using for-profit administrators.

Bestmed provides a selection of 13 medical aid plans to meet a variety of demands and budgets. The plans are classified into three categories: Beat, Pace, and Pulse.

  • The Beat plans provide low-cost medical coverage that is ideal for young, active individuals and couples.
  • The Pace range is perfect for developing and established families due to its more complete features.
  • The Pulse plans include network-based medical coverage, as well as an income-based medical aid plan and an older-adult network alternative.

Bestmed offers an extensive healthcare provider network that gives you access to specialist and hospital networks across South Africa.

Bestmed’s Tempo Wellness Programme is also free for all members. The Wellness Programme includes free Health Assessments (previously HRA), and visits to dietitians and biokinetics. It also offers family interventions, workshops, and baby growth assessments.

BestMed Reviews

This is far the best medical aid I have joined. You get the luxury of maintaining your savings yourself. Authorizations are done without any problems and you get notified as soon as a claim has been admitted which I feel minimizes the risk of fraud. I am a very happy client and I’m glad I joined them – Aluwani T.

Bestmed has been giving me peace of mind until now. It has been loyal to me, I was doing everything via their app and was satisfied with it all. Now it’s showing me flames. Where should we run now? I realize claiming is a big problem. Or maybe there is a misunderstanding of some sort. I had paid my doctor the desired amount of medical care he provided to me from my cheque account as he wished. – Goitsemang M.

Discovery Health

Discovery Health is South Africa’s largest medical aid and insurance provider, boasting over two million members. It offers a wide selection of medical aid choices designed to meet a range of members’ needs, from low-cost but basic hospital plans to extensive executive packages.

Discovery Health plans are suitable for families, professionals, and retirees looking for cheap, all-inclusive health coverage and those on chronic medication or in need of specialised medical treatment.

Discovery’s Vitality option consists of three programs that encourage and reward you for living a healthier lifestyle, driving safely, and saving wisely.

You can get Vitality Health points by staying active, eating healthy, and keeping track of your health. You’ll receive a range of prizes at each level, and your status will rise as you get healthier.  Your points will reset to zero every year, and you will have the opportunity to begin earning them again – the ideal encouragement to continue getting healthy year after year.

Discovery Medical Aid Reviews

I was hesitant to join Discovery this year, and after being with them for only 3 months my daughter and I had unexpected hospital visits. Both claims were handled very professionally, thank you. Also a mention on the very smooth setup you guys have for the vaccination process. – Corrine

What has happened with the claims with Discovery. Historically they were so good. I have submitted the same one four times over the last few weeks and am still awaiting the courtesy of a reply. The last couple of times it has gone to claims indexing and still no response. Very disappointing. – Phillip

Bonitas

Bonitas provides a variety of cost-effective medical aid alternatives, including coverage for major medical bills and chronic medicine. In addition to this, Bonitas provides out-of-hospital benefits.

Bonitas’ BonComprehensive package covers unlimited consultations with co-payments over the threshold, substantial medical expenses at 150 percent of the scheme rate, and chronic medicine for 60 conditions. This plan is best for those who need comprehensive coverage with a long list of chronic benefits.

Bonitas Medical Aid Reviews

Always excellent service thank you. – Megan

As a Bonita’s Member I am forced to utilize Pharmacy Direct for my Chronic Meds to avoid any Co-Payments. – Jason.

Momentum Health

Momentum Health caters to each individual’s needs and financial situation, offering many different options.

For example, Momentum’s Ingwe option offers affordable, entry-level hospitalization coverage up to a certain annual limit per household. You can use any hospital, only private hospitals in the Ingwe network, or only state hospitals for the lowest monthly contribution.

Momentum’s Health Platform benefits allow members to have screening tests and check-ups to help prevent and/or diagnose potentially dangerous problems early. This enables faster intervention and a better prognosis.

Momentum Health Reviews

We have never had issues with claims. We have never had issues with authorisations. We have never had issues with service. – Liezel

Bad customer service. So glad I left. – Tanya

Medihelp

Medihelp provides ten different medical aid solutions. They include a low-cost hospital plan and a plan that provides low-cost medical assistance to students.

Child-dependent rates continue to apply on most Medihelp plans until age 26.

The Medihelp Prime range is a wonderful alternative for larger families because it includes free coverage for any children after the second.

Medihelp Reviews

Thanks to Medihelp for your assistance and guidance during my illness this past year. – Michelle

The accounts department is really incompetent. They never get back to you, and then they suspend your medical aid. This is the worst medical aid client service-wise. – Sune

Final Thoughts on Medical Aid Schemes in South Africa

This guide may help you narrow down your possibilities, but it is still recommended that you consult with a financial consultant before selecting an appropriate medical aid scheme.

Finding and selecting the best medical aid plan in the country is challenging because there are so many. Even if you think you’re on the right track, your requirements are unique and may change over time.

You should assess your medical aid at the end of each year to see if it is still meeting your needs and if switching is worthwhile.

Remember to select a scheme that caters to your financial and lifestyle requirements, which you can find with the companies listed above.

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