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Medical aid schemes in South Africa
In layman's terms, the purpose of a medical aid is to ensure that you are able to pay for treatment received from either a GP, specialist or while in hospital.
It is very important to "insure" your health. Accidents can happen and you and your family's health are unpredictable. If you cannot afford comprehensive cover, at least a basic hospital plan is recommended.
The main differences between different medical aids and options within them, is the cover provided with regards to specialists and other suppliers while you are in hospital. In South Africa we have two types of medical schemes:
Closed medical aid schemes
These schemes are only open to a particular company, profession, trade, industry, calling, association or union that have established a scheme exclusively for their employees and members.
Open medical aid schemes
These schemes are open to the public. There are currently 26 open medical schemes in South Africa. Their benefits are much more innovative.