A lot of people take the need for medical aid very lightly. They only realise the importance when disaster strikes and all of a sudden they are left in financial ruin due to over the top medical bills. Having a medical aid is equally important as putting food on the table, hence it needs to be prioritised.
Different types of medical aid offer different packages which in turn cover different benefits. The contributions charged by medical aids differ as a result of these differences in product design. More benefits mean more contributions to be paid by a member.
There are over 28 medical aid societies in Zimbabwe and choosing one can be overwhelming. However, more often than not, people do not know exactly what they want in a medical aid. The choices in the end depend on hearsay or peer influence than real product benefits. When choosing a medical aid, there are a number of factors that one can consider. Below are some key factors one should consider;
Whilst the contributions charged by medical aid are a fraction of the benefits offered, it is important for one to choose a medical aid that offers a comprehensive package that suits one’s pocket or budget.
Looking at one’s ability to pay in the long term is always important. Continuity in making a payment ensures uninterrupted cover. Medical aids often terminate benefits if members are not paid up for 2 months in a row. Considering the ability of your chosen medical aid to sustain the pricing structure of their product is one of the most fundamental issues. It is not entirely a question of who is cheap. It is always a question of whether the medical aid will be able to offer the services at the promised rate in the long term.
The relationship between service providers and medical aids is very fragile, with continuous fights and fall outs .It is true that when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. When these fights start, service providers refuse to accept the medical aids resulting in members getting stuck. Corporate 24 medical aid is one of the societies that have invested heavily in their own facilities. Corporate 24 invested over 10 million in expanding their facilities. Their facilities are one stop shop and state of the art, offering a wide range of services including radiology, laboratory, pharmacy and consultation amongst many more. A medical aid with its own facilities offers a good fall-back position to its members.
SERVICE PROVIDERS PAYMENT POLICY
Each medical aid society adopts a different approach towards payment of service providers and refunds to members. Some societies will pay providers directly whilst some may be expected to pay their own medical bills and then submit a claim to be reimbursed. It is best to choose a medical aid that pays service providers timeously to avoid inconveniences.
CONSIDER YOUR HEALTH
When choosing a medical aid, take your own health and that of family members attached to the plan into consideration. If you have an existing condition, you need to make sure that your own medical aid will cover the treatment for that condition. Common chronic conditions include HIV, hypertension, diabetes and asthma just to mention a few. These conditions are covered by some societies as an added benefit that requires you to increase monthly contributions to ensure cover.
It is important to choose a medical aid partner that covers every family member under your custody including your parents and grandparents. Currently, Corporate 24 Medical Aid is the only medical aid offering cover to those over 65 years old.
SERVICE PROVIDERS LIST
For most companies that have branches all over Zimbabwe and for individuals that travel a lot or have dependants staying in different towns, it is always ideal and important to choose a medical aid that has a vast service network across the country.
Choose a medical aid that covers you in more ways than one When choosing a medical aid, it is important to consider added benefits offered by your medical aid. These might not be directly related to health but bring convenience to you. Take for example the medi-funeral plans by Corporate 24 Medical Aid in partnership with CBZ Life. This product is a medical aid product that offers funeral cover-all in one. The hassle of dealing with numerous service providers is eliminated. – Corporate 24