The terrifying cost of reliable healthcare WITHOUT health insurance


Jade Poole from I write words

reliable healthcare

It is completely possible for you to access excellent private healthcare without sky-high bills. It just depends on the choices you make to protect yourself and your family.

When it comes to being prepared for health emergencies and quality healthcare, it’s all about making responsible decisions that secure you financially. We consider ourselves to be big-picture people which is why we do our best to make sure people know all there is to know about health insurance.

Everybody should be able to afford excellent medical attention when they need it but this isn’t the reality for people in South Africa or even around the world. It is widely thought that private healthcare has become exclusive to independently wealthy people, and this would be the case if it weren’t for medical aid schemes and health insurance.

What is health insurance?

Your health is your most valuable asset, so it isn’t a crazy notion that you should be investing some portion of your money into your health each month.

Signing onto a health insurance policy means that you and a reputable insurance broker have agreed to a binding service that offers you cover for certain health costs in exchange for a monthly premium. Ideally, your health insurance policy should be both comprehensive and affordable (not cheap, but affordable). 

Find out the lowdown on health insurance in 2021.

The costs of private healthcare

If you want to find out how much you can expect to pay for private healthcare on your own, we can get into a few of the numbers here.

GP visit: From R600 (just for the consult alone, this does not include medication or additional tests)

Dentist examination: From R600 to R1000

Optometrist check-up: R700

Paediatrician check-up: From R750

Now, those are routine care costs and day-to-day costs which you should be able to book without feeling a pang of anxiety in your chest. Once you take accidents and illnesses into account, it’s a whole different tax bracket.

Not to mention the price of specialists, which can range from R1 500 to R3 000.

Private hospital fees

Hospitals have been under an incredible amount of strain over the past year and a bit with COVID-19. Our public hospitals are often under-resourced and under-staffed as it is, but now more than ever it is important to be placed in a reputable hospital when you need it.

If you are taken into a private hospital for emergency surgery, you will have to pay an upfront deposit regardless of your medical condition. Eish. These deposits can range from anywhere between R3000 to R20 000. Take into account you may not have the time or capacity to go to another hospital, in which case you will have to pay or be transported to a government hospital once you have been stabilised. 

If you have a heart attack and need an emergency biopsy, you could be facing a deposit of R50 000.

Now you know a deposit is only the entrance fee, yes? For each night you stay in a private hospital bed you can expect to pay between R1000 to R2000. This covers your bed and your meals. What it doesn’t cover is:

  • Each conversation you have with a specialist (a consult)
  • Each medical investigation (ultrasounds, blood tests, MRI’s and CT scans)
  • The amount of time you spend in surgery

Private hospitals stick to their policies

It may seem like a hard pill to swallow but you need to be aware that a private hospital will almost definitely not offer any payment plans or accept promises of future payments. Most will even insist on payment whilst you are still undergoing treatment in order to protect themselves.

On top of the trauma of being hospitalised, it is incredibly difficult to deal with huge transfers and loans and what on earth you’re going to do with your credit card debt.

The case for health insurance

These costs can come out of the blue but with health insurance, you can anticipate and plan to pay your monthly premiums in exchange for a huge sigh of relief. At Oneplan, we have four fully comprehensive plans that range from our Core Plan to our Executive Plan (which has one of the highest annual limits in the country) and all of them are catered to your budget and lifestyle.

Remember how we spoke about the hassle of being faced with massive bills and administration? Here’s how we can handle that for you:

  1. We pay you BEFORE you see your doctor - you don’t need to pay out of pocket
  2. An easy to use app does all the work for you - Our Oneplan App allows you to seamlessly claim, access your policy and find the answers to any insurance related questions, all in the palm of your hand
  3. Amazing cover for routine and day-to-day care  (we also cover prescription medication)
  4. Stick with the doctor you know and trust - We don’t limit you to a specified network of doctors, you can choose your own doctor 

At the end of the day, you can’t predict when things go wrong, but you can plan for when they do. Save yourself from surprise costs associated with unexpected accidents and illness and purchase an affordable health insurance plan. It’s for your own good, and that of your loved one’s. Trust us on this. You won’t regret it. Even if you don’t insure your health with us, we urge you to choose a health insurance provider who will not only look after your health, but the health of your wallet too.


Yours in hassle-free health insurance,


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