How medical emergencies can leave you bankrupt




Why you need health insurance to save you from crippling medical debt

It is often tempting to go without the expense of health insurance, particularly in these tough economic times in South Africa.

It is an expense a number of us struggle to afford along with our monthly costs of living. You may be thinking that perhaps you do not need health insurance because you rarely go to the doctor or get sick. You may be young and in good health, or, you really just cannot afford the monthly premium of a health insurance plan.

Living in South Africa comes with its fair share of beauty and it’s a fair share of letdowns, and sadly, the public healthcare system is one of them. Ending up in a state-owned hospital bed is a reality that a number of us will have to face should we not have health insurance as a result of the costs of private healthcare leaving us with little choice.

South African private healthcare and medical expenses are some of the of the most costly in the world! Over the past 10 years alone, the costs of private healthcare in South Africa have increased by a whopping 300%, moving from R42 billion in 2002 to R142 billion in 2014 and they continue to rise!

That’s why if you don’t have a backup for your medical expenses, such as health insurance or medical aid, then your medical expenses can leave you bankrupt, and here’s how…


How medical emergencies can bankrupt you if you don’t have insurance

This may seem like an exaggerated claim to make, but it’s the cold, hard truth.

Let’s break down how medical expenses can leave you in debt...

Patients who are not on medical aid need to pay an upfront deposit.

This can vary and will depend on the hospital and the medical condition needing to be treated. It might be as low as R3,000 and as high as R15,000.

Let’s take a look at some common procedure costs…

You are looking at paying roughly R9 000 for an MRI scan, over R300 000 for a heart bypass and R3 800 for an abdominal CT scan. One night in a private hospital can cost you more than a couple of grand.

If you suffer from a medical emergency, such as a bad car accident, the cost of this accident could easily leave you in a crippling amount of medical bills and debt, costing you thousands of rands which can climb even higher should you need surgery and rehabilitation such as physical therapy.

You will also need to take into consideration that a medical emergency leaves you unable to work, meaning you will not be earning an income should you not have any income protection or backup money for situations such as these.

Even if you are lucky enough not to be involved in an accident, then perhaps you need to have an emergency appendectomy (i.e. you have to have your appendix taken out as it may be close to popping - this is an extremely common emergency). The costs of sedation or anesthesia, the cost of a surgeon, hospital bed and any follow up drugs such as painkillers  - all add up to a hefty bill at the end of it.


Health insurance is a necessity

The sad truth of it all, is that we can’t afford not to have health insurance.

Do not make the mistake of not taking out a health insurance policy because you can’t afford it or think nothing bad will ever happen to you. No one wants to get sick or be involved in an accident that leaves them in devastating medical bills and debt, but this can and will happen.

It helps to take the time to find the extra budget in your expenses to cover your healthcare costs when it comes to insurance.

But here’s the deal…


Health insurance can be affordable!

Oneplan has a range of plans starting from as little R333 a month! We allow for you to choose the benefits and cover that suits your lifestyle and your bank account.

We know that times are pretty tough out there and your health and your medical bills shouldn’t add to your list of stresses. Contact us today to find out how we can help you save in health insurance.

Yours in health,



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