One Plan’s Executive Hospital Plan – Is it For You?
Hospital plans in South Africa are relatively new, and the government has not put in place any kind of regulation yet. This could make them confusing for foreigners who do not speak the language. Hospital plans will usually cover you only for the treatment you received in a hospital that is registered with the government. You will receive your treatment from a specific hospital, which is approved by the government. This means that the quality of treatment you receive will be at a pre-approved standard.
A One Plan hospital plan usually requires you to pay a fixed monthly premium which would then pay for medical procedures and treatments as an in-patient in a private hospital registered with the government. A prescribed doctor or prescribed medicines for your condition would be for your account only. You would have a fixed income for the month which is directly deducted from your medical savings account. Some hospital plans to charge for parking and meals while others do not. However, some hospitals allow you to eat and pay for the same in your account, so long as you have made a prior booking for the same in advance.
Other hospital plan benefit options include emergency room care, ambulance services, and rehabilitation. Emergency room care is provided for patients who are unable to travel to the hospital on their own. You will be admitted into the hospital and given intensive care until you are well enough to go home. The nurses will also give you the medication you need upon admission, and you will have to remain in the hospital until the medication has been completely absorbed. Rehabilitation can take place in your home or a local centre, depending on the severity of your condition.
Other hospital plan benefit options provide cover for prescribed medication, hospital expenses arising from an accident or injury, and repatriation. The costs of medication can be very high for those who cannot afford them regularly, especially if they cannot get hold of a discount drug dealer. These schemes will either provide cover for these drugs through a pharmacy or a drug purchase scheme. A pharmacy purchase scheme means that the cost of your prescribed medication will be covered by the scheme, while a drug purchase scheme usually offers discounts on bulk purchases.
If you need prescribed minimum daily doses of medicine for your condition, a private hospital in southern Africa might be able to provide this service to you. There are private hospitals, which are capable of giving out prescription minimum doses, depending on the extent of your condition and your age. Before you decide which medical aid scheme to go for, you will need to weigh up the options that you have. Some hospital plans provide coverage only for the prescribed minimum daily doses of medication, while others provide a discount rate on all pharmaceuticals, depending on the type of illness you are suffering from. On the other hand, some medical aid schemes will only provide you with discounted medical aids, depending on your financial circumstances.
Private hospital plans are more expensive than hospital plans which offer a discount on medical aids. However, it is a good idea to look at these plans carefully, as you could end up saving a lot of money on your medication, and also on your nursing care. Those who are still relatively young, may have to bear the brunt of a heavy hospital bill, especially if they are suffering from a serious illness. Therefore, a medical aid scheme could be the best solution for them. Private hospitalisation will give them access to quality health care at an affordable price, while also putting a limit on the amount that they will have to pay back once they have paid for their treatment.