What exactly is the hospital cash back plan in detail?
Since private medical care in South Africa is so expensive, having a medical cover might be the only affordable solution to deal with any medical emergencies. Accidents happen every day and since no one can be certain about the future, one can only assume that sooner or later medical attention will be needed. Depending on the personal resources, the two types of insurance available are hospital cash plans and medical aid cover. Those two financial options are significantly different and offer various advantages, but also have some limitations.
Hospital cash plans have the advantage of a lower price. Getting such insurance for a very small monthly fee is what most of the young people prefer. The way this health plan works is theoretically really simple: in case of hospitalization the private insurance company will pay the money you need for medical care directly into your bank account up to the maximum amount of money agreed on when the insurance was made. Hospitals and surgical facilities do not recognize this cover as medical insurance and will ask you to cover for the medical expenses upfront. This makes the whole process more complicated: if the private insurance company refuses to pay you the money upfront, claiming that it firstly needs proof that such expenses are necessary, you will have no other option but to pay personally for the medical care fees and wait to receive your cash back from the insurance company.
The medical aid cover is the official medical insurance recognized by hospitals and private clinics in South Africa to cover the costs of any medical procedures. These include chronic medication and hospitalization costs required for the whole time period when the treatment is received and any other health needs you might have (private doctor consultation fees, additional medication, etc.). What this health insurance actually pays for are the expenses as put together in the National Health Reference Price List (NHRPL). This means that if the prices of a certain private healthcare institution are higher than those on the NHRPL, the insurance will not cover the entire cost. In order to get the most out of your medical aid cover, it is important to research what options are available for you in the first place. This could make the difference between being fully covered or having to spend extra funds for medical attention that you thought that would be covered by the insurance.
It is crucial to understand that hospital cash plans and medical aid covers are two totally different products available in different sectors of the market. If one wishes to substitute one for the other, this is unfortunately impossible. Switching from one medical aid cover to the other is possible only if one gives up to the current cover and signs for the new type of insurance. The end result of such a decision would be the loss of the previously invested money for the health cover. Consequently, it is very important to consider all the factors when getting a medical cover, so that any inconveniences and loss of money are avoided.