Medical Aid is Essential in South Africa
Health is something that we take for granted and tend not to think about until something goes wrong. The medical aid conversation can be a controversial one. Many look at the price tag and wonder if it is worth the expense and the inevitable hassle. Everyone knows that medical aid comes with paperwork and admin, but few recognise that it also comes with peace of mind and reassurance.
The reality is that your health, and that of your family, holds immeasurable value to you. It’s also the least predictable factor in your life. This unpredictability is precisely what makes medical aid so important, because you can’t tell for certain when you’ll need it. Sports injuries, road accidents, stress-related illnesses, and terminal illnesses are not examples of things that afflict the elderly. Rather, they’re representative of what can go wrong in anyone’s health at any time.
Many medical institutions request a hefty upfront cash deposit when a patient arrives without medical aid. While the amount is generally a percentage of the anticipated cost of what will be done for you in hospital, it can amount to anything between R3 000 and R15 000 or more. Few people have this kind of money available to them at a moment’s notice, and you have to deal with this additional pressure during a period of stress.
For those who pay their medical aid contributions through their employer, the deductions should be shown on their payslip. This can then be used to assess the tax credit amounts at the end of the year as reflected on their IRP5 and to ensure all these credits have been taken into account.
A long-term investment while South Africa continues on its holding pattern around the ideal of National Health Insurance, it is important for individuals to invest in their health. Purchase the best medical aid that budget allows and stay on top of its changes and regulations.
There is, of course, another side to the medical aid coin – the employer. Often it is they who are suddenly expected to pay an unexpected medical bill or bail an employee out of a challenging health situation. While medical aid remains the remit of the individual, it is the business which is seen as the saviour in an emergency.
Disclaimer: The information published in this article or newsletter is of general nature and should not be used without obtaining specific advice as to its application in your business or under your specific circumstances. Pay Solutions will accept no liability if the information is used without first obtaining specific advice from one of our consultants