Why You Can’t Afford Not To Have Cover For Medical Expenses: The Facts On Healthcare Costs


Jade Poole from I Write Words


We dig into the unexpected costs of private healthcare and how out of pocket expenses can leave you in a huge amount of financial stress if you don’t have medical cover. (Plus how to afford care at a more affordable rate)

We all know the drill…

You get sick, or worse, are involved in an accident and need immediate medical attention.

You could run the risk of seeking treatment from a public hospital. Of course, some of these clinics have enough staff and great equipment, others do not. In some cases, you might not get a hospital bed or the proper treatment you need. Sadly, our public healthcare system is overcrowded and under-resourced.

In wanting the best care you can get, you decide to go for private medical care which can cost a lot of money!

Is private medical care important to you?

If you are someone who wants to be able to have access to private healthcare facilities to ensure you are treated properly, then you need medical insurance or medical aid.

The thing is, medical cover will give you the peace of mind you need in knowing you are covered in the expensive event of a medical claim. It’s that simple.

You can’t predict when things go wrong, but you can plan for when they do

You could fall ill or injure yourself at any time. If you don’t have medical cover then you face the enormous bills of medical care. The outcome? Crippling debt.

How much does private healthcare cost?

The cost of medical care will vary on the doctor and the hospital.

Most doctor consult fees will start at around R350 to R650 a session. This does NOT include prescription medication.

For hospital admission, if you do not have health insurance or medical aid, then you will have to pay an upfront deposit.

This can sometimes be as low as R3000 or as high as R15 000. A patient in need of bypass surgery for a heart attack will sometimes have to pay as much as R50 000 as a deposit.

And the costs don’t end there…

Your deposit is merely a surety for the medical bills you will accumulate while in hospital.

A hospital bed can cost between R1 200 to R2 000. This is only for the cost of staying in your hospital and eating 3 meals a day.

Then there are the additional consultation fees for doctors and other medical experts.

If you need surgery, then you will be billed for the time spent in the operating room and for the surgeon and anaesthetist fees.

If you need an MRI, CT or another kind of scan, this will also cost more.

What if I don’t have the money to pay the deposit at a private hospital?

The truth of the matter is that without medical cover or even a hospital plan, if you cannot pay the deposit, the hospital may refuse your admission.

Should I get medical aid, a hospital plan or health insurance?

Let’s discuss the differences between these…

What is medical aid?

Medical aid covers you for private healthcare needs and treatment.

From hospitalisation to medication and GP and specialist visits.

There is a wide range of medical aid options available to you. You can choose between fully comprehensive cover which will include GP visits and other additional benefits on top of hospital cover or you can just get a hospital plan.

The more benefits, the more expensive your premium will be.

Medical aid will reimburse you for the payments you make or directly pay your healthcare provider.

What is a hospital plan?

A hospital plan includes exactly that - cover for hospital treatment.

This is the most basic form of medical cover.

All routine costs such as GP visits and day to day medical care will come out of your own pocket.

Both medical aids and health insurers offer hospital-cover only plans.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is more affordable than medical aid because this form of medical cover will only cover a set amount in specified circumstances.

This means that you know exactly how much cover you have and for what. Health insurance might not cover as much as medical aid, but your monthly premium will be considerably lower.

Depending on your health insurance provider, there are some awesome plans which include GP visits, dentistry, blood tests, optometry, prescriptions meds and maternity care.

If you have health insurance with us (Oneplan), then we even pay you BEFORE you see the doctor and each of our health plans includes doctor visits and routine care cover.

Don’t go into debt over medical expenses

Now that you know the cost of private healthcare, it’s well worth it to invest in a medical aid or health insurance policy.

Remember to always put your health first. Like we said, you can’t predict when things go wrong, but you can plan for when they do.

Yours in hassle-free health insurance,


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