Oh shucks! I can’t afford to pay my health insurance premium - now what?
You’ve made it through Janu-worry but for most, that doesn’t mean your financial struggles are over. Most of us understand living month to month or going through a rough patch financially. This sometimes means you need to cut costs here and there which leads to not being able to pay for your health insurance. But what happens when you can’t pay?
We get it, things aren’t always easy. Some months you’re excited to find that you have a couple of hundred rands extra for some fun spoils. Other months, there just seems to be too much month at the end of your money. Life happens and you may find yourself in a tough spot where you can’t afford to pay your health insurance premium, so what happens now?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this situation.
What is a health insurance premium?
Simply put, your premium is the amount of money you pay your health insurer each month.
This is the amount of money that is shown in your policy that you and your insurer worked out while discussing what your needs and requirements are.
Sometimes your insurer will need to increase your premium due to a variety of factors (here at Oneplan, we do try to keep your premiums to an absolute minimum). You will receive at least 1 calendar month’s written notice to your email address that will let you know about the increase.
We understand that you have many financial obligations so we try to be as fair as possible with our premiums (within reason) so always feel free to chat to us if you have any concerns (we don’t bite - promise!)
What happens when I don’t pay my insurance premium?
If you find that you can’t pay for your health insurance premium, this will definitely have some implications.
It is your responsibility to make sure your insurer receives your premium on the date you agreed on. If you don’t make your payment on time, Oneplan will collect the payment through NAEDO and/or take double of the outstanding premium from your bank account. This is to cover that month and the next month’s payments.
NAEDO is a debit order collection system that allows us to ensure a debit can take place when sufficient funds are available. If we collect the premium from NAEDO, we won’t be able to take it on the date you specified and it can result in additional bank charges which you will be responsible for.
What about my health insurance?
Unfortunately, if we don’t receive your premium, your policy will be suspended for the Grace Period of 15 days. You will need to pay your premium within these 15 days for your policy to continue. If your payment isn’t successful within these 15 days, your policy will automatically be cancelled. We are also unable to provide you with a confirmation of cover if your premium hasn’t been paid.
Trust us, we don’t want you to have any added stress but in order for us to be able to cover your claims, we need to make sure that we receive payments on time.
If you are not at fault for your premium not being paid, you are welcome to dispute this and provide us with the information and evidence to prove that your bank is at fault.
The Grace Period explained
The Grace Period is a helpful 15 days that allows you to pay your premium. During these 15 days, your policy will be suspended and you won’t be able to make any insurance claims.
The Grace period lasts until the 15th day of the month where your premium was due. As we said, if you still can’t pay your premium within these 15 days, your premium will be cancelled (oh no!) and we’ll have to begin the entire process of getting you covered from scratch.
During the Grace Period, your policy is ‘paused’ while we give you time to make the payment (we completely understand that sometimes life just happens).
Life isn’t always easy and being a responsible adult definitely isn’t easy either! Endless bills and a monthly salary that just never feels like it’s enough. We understand that sometimes, your health insurance premium can seem like an absolute pain to have to pay but it’s important to keep up-to-date with your payments to ensure you are covered in any unexpected event.
And remember, we’re human too so give us a call whenever you have any concerns!
Yours in affordable health insurance,