Rabu, 10 Oktober 2012

Finding Affordable Medical Aid

Many people opt to not get any kind of medical insurance because they prefer to save the money that would otherwise be spent on the monthly premiums. These people are usually those who are strapped for cash and argue that they simply cannot afford medical aid. However, it can be illustrated that an affordable monthly premium is possible to achieve when you consider what expenses might be should you find yourself in a medical emergency with no cover.
Unexpected health issues like being diagnosed with a terminal illness or being in an accident where you require emergency care or a surgical procedure could end up costing thousands. If you do not have medical aid to cushion the blow, these expenses could very well cripple you financially because you will be liable to settle all amounts out of your own pocket.
With medical aid, you have peace of mind that should the unexpected occur, you will be covered for at least a portion, if not all, of the expenses that might be incurred. A monthly premium sounds a lot more reasonable and less inconvenient when considered in this context. Your decision should therefore not be whether to sign up for medical aid or not but rather, which medical aid option is the right one for you and your budget.
Tips To Help The Decision Making Process
Make a list of what your requirements and expectations are where medical aid is concerned. Take family medical history into account so that you have an idea of future scenarios that might become a reality for you like chronic conditions that are hereditary as well as terminal illnesses that has affected your immediate family.
Work out a budget to see exactly what you can afford in terms of monthly premiums. You don't want to be too frugal here but remember that if you can't afford to keep up with regular payments, your medical cover will lapse and this is something you don't want to happen. Keep your projections as realistic and practical as possible. Once you know how much money you have to work with, you can use this information to guide your investigation into possible medical aid solutions.
Speak to a professional broker about what your options are in keeping with what you need from a medical aid, what your expectations are and what you can afford to pay each month. Some people can do with just a hospital plan and no day-to-day cover, while others need more comprehensive cover that perhaps includes chronic medication and visits to the doctor. Only you will know what services you will require and be sure to lay these out to your broker so they know what options to provide you with.
The Final Decision
Once you've done investigations into what your options are, take some time to consider which would best serve your immediate health needs. Make a short list of different medical aid companies and compare packages that are best suited to you and your budget.
Be careful to not let the monthly premium be the only factor driving your decision. Sometimes paying a little more each month could be the difference between quality cover and inefficient service delivery from a medical aid company.

Selasa, 11 September 2012

What Is Medical Aid?

Medical aid provides financial cover for health related circumstances that you would otherwise have had to pay for yourself. Where this type of cover becomes most beneficial is with big expenses like surgical procedures and hospital stays. If you do not have medical aid and require a surgery, you would be responsible for the bill that could easily total thousands of rands.

Many people undersell the value of having medical aid because they feel it costs them more than it benefits them. However, if you do your research properly you are sure to find a plan that suits your budget as much as it does your health requirements. Seeking help from a professional medical aid broker would further help in this area.

Helpful Tips

Decide on what you would require from a medical aid in terms of cover before you begin your search. It is better to know what you are looking for so that you don't end up wasting time considering medical plans that are not suited to you.

Work out a budget so that you know how much you can afford to spend on monthly premiums. It is important to take a plan that is affordable so that you don't end up missing payments. This can lead to a lapse or termination of membership, which will leave you without cover.

Don't rush your decision. Take time to investigate different medical aid companies and the different packages they offer that cater to your requirements and budget. Compare prices, benefits as well as service levels.

Speak to a professional medical broker. They have in depth knowledge of the industry as well as the expertise to offer guidance and advice when it comes to finding the right cover for you.
Benefits Of Having Medical Aid

The most important advantage of having this insurance is that it saves you money in the long run. Costs of doctor's visits, medication, chronic illness treatments, specialist consultations, hospitalization and surgical procedures are some of the things people will have to face in their daily lives. The expenses incurred by these can be quite high, especially where hospitalization and surgery is concerned. Having medical cover will relieve the financial burden on you.

Another direct benefit of medical aid is that it encourages a healthier lifestyle. Most medical schemes now offer what is referred to as health booster options. Essentially these are plans that offer incentive to members who keep to a healthy lifestyle and regularly monitor their health with things like checks on cholesterol, blood pressure, fitness and other screening tests.

In most cases, if you do not have medical insurance, you cannot afford premium healthcare because it is quite expensive. With medical aid, you have access to resources and services that would otherwise not have been within your financial reach. It basically gives you the freedom to seek medical attention without worrying about the cost instead of suffering in pain and discomfort because you cannot afford treatment.

Rabu, 22 Agustus 2012

Choosing A Medical Aid That Is Right For You

With so many companies out there offering a plethora of services, it can be overwhelming when the time comes to make a decision about what medical aid plan is best suited to you. It is as if you are being seduced by insurance companies all claiming to provide exactly what you want. The only way to survive this onslaught is to actually know exactly what you want and what you can afford. This way you will not be led astray by fancy words and empty promises to find the medical aid that is just right for you.

The Process

The first thing you want to do is outline your health requirements. Take your family medical history into consideration as well if you are younger because this will give you an idea of what you might have to plan for when you get older. Some people get along quite fine with benefits that are exclusively for hospitalization and major surgeries, while others require more basic benefits like cover for doctor's visits and chronic medication. Decide where you fit into this picture so that you have a clear idea of what you need and therefore what kind plan you will have to look out for.

Are you single or married and do you have a family? In other words, how many dependents will be joining you on your new medical aid plan because this will affect your monthly premium quite a bit. Medical aid companies usually work out their pricing so that the main member pays the biggest premium and thereafter, every adult and child dependent will pay a lesser amount that gets totaled in to the premium you have to pay each month.

Which brings you to your budget - no decisions can be made unless you know exactly how much money you have to work with. Be sure that the plan you decide to take is one that you can afford because non-payment on medical aid premiums will cause your cover to lapse or you might even have your membership terminated. This would reflect badly on you should you try to sign up with another medical aid in future. Once you know how much money you can spend on a monthly basis where premiums are concerned, you will have a much more guided search and your decision will be a lot more informed.

Getting Help

Remember that you don't have to do this alone. If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process then you can seek help from a professional medical aid broker. This person has the knowledge and expertise to assist you in finding the plan that works best for you in terms of product services as well as price.

Brokers are paid by their companies so you don't have to worry about having to pay them for their services. So basically you'll be getting professional advice from someone in the industry at no further cost to you. Take advantage of this and find the medical aid that is kind to your budget and gives you everything you and your family need in terms of healthcare.

Selasa, 17 Juli 2012

Why You Should Sign Up With A Medical Aid

Medical aids are a type of insurance that is quite important in life. Many people think that they can get by without having medical aid and opt to rather save on the installments that they would otherwise have to make on a monthly basis. The fact of the matter is that if you do not have medical insurance, you are at the mercy of the public health care system, which at best is stretched for resources as it is. This leaves you in a position where you will be financially responsible for your health needs whatever they might be.

A medical aid works to save you money where health problems are concerned. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you can get cover for things like visits to a general practitioner, medication, surgical procedures and emergency care at trauma units.

How It Works

When you sign up with one you will be responsible for paying a monthly installment. This is determined by the type of cover you choose. Some medical aids offer exclusive hospital plans to clients. These provide cover for hospitalization in keeping with certain conditions. In this way, if you ever end up in hospital, your stay there and all procedures and medication will be paid for by the medical aid.

Other plans vary in types of cover ranging from basic cover that provides the most fundamental services and are commonly the cheapest type of plan to premium packages that covers every health related need but for a high price. Packages are graded and priced according to how much the medical aid is willing to pay for. The cheaper packages will offer very basic cover, while the more expensive packages will offer more elite cover. This could mean covering hospitalization at high end private hospitals and even elective surgeries in some cases along with over the counter medicine.

Medical aid benefits are used up as you call on funds to pay for visits to the doctor, surgeries or medication. Every year, these benefits are renewed and topped up and the cycle starts all over again. Savings plans are common in many medical aid packages these days. A savings plan works as a kind of safety net clients who might run out of benefits. They can then use the funds saved up in their Savings plan to cover unexpected costs that arise.

Important Things To Consider

Decide what your requirements are before taking out cover
Speak to a professional medical aid broker to assist you in choosing a plan that will work best for your needs and expectations
Know what your budget will allow and only consider plans that fall within it. If you take a plan you can't afford, lapses in payment will cause the medical cover to fall away and no cover is worse than basic cover.
Always check on your benefits before making use of them to ensure you don't end up with expenses that your benefits didn't cover.

Rabu, 20 Juni 2012

What Medical Aid Brokers Do

A medical aid broker is basically someone who sells medical insurance. This is not the beginning and end of their function, however. They are people with in depth knowledge of the industry and they have the expertise to offer guidance and advice to people who need it.

If you are in the market to find a new medical aid plan, consulting with a professional medical aid broker would be a good idea. Not only can they help you with your decision making process, but they can save you a lot of time and effort by doing research on your behalf.

A Basic Function Breakdown

A medical aid broker can assist you in the following ways:

Gather information on different medical aid options from various companies
Advise you on how to work out your budget to provide for monthly premium payments
Offer guidance on what kind of cover would be best suited to you and your medical requirements
Go through your health status as well as your family medical history to determine the type of cover you could most benefit from
Deal with all paperwork regarding signing up for membership with a certain medical aid company
Liaise with different companies on your behalf
Give you valuable information and advice that can inform your decision making process
It is more than just a selling process for a broker. If you find the right one, you will have found a valuable asset who can assist you in making an informed decision regarding which medical aid package to go with. Remember that you do not have to pay for the services of a broker; they are paid by the company that employs them. So basically you have valuable information and services at your disposal that won't cost you anything.

How To Find A Broker

You can do an online search to find medical aid brokers. Try to look at independent companies instead of those that provide medical aid themselves. In those cases, their brokers will only provide you with information regarding their company's products and you won't have a realistic view of what else is out there.

It is important to sit down and speak to a broker face to face before making a decision. The relationship you have with them is as important as their knowledge and expertise. You do not want to end up with a broker who is only interested in the sale but who has your best interests at heart. The best way to make this deduction is through a personal meeting.

This doesn't mean you have to meet every broker you find listed. You can start by emailing enquiries and perhaps create a short list based on your feeling from this correspondence. A phone call to the shortlisted brokers would help you narrow it down even further to maybe two or three brokers you would like to sit down with.

Rabu, 23 Mei 2012

Should You Change Your Medicare Advantage Plan During The Annual Enrollment Period?

Should you change your Medicare Advantage plan?

Medicare recipients have access to a wide array of health and drug insurance options. These plans vary widely from company to company and from place to place. For people already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, the question is: Should you shop around for a new plan for 2013?

If you are thinking of changing plans, here are some important considerations:

Will all of your doctors be in the new plan's network? Some people don't mind changing doctors if it means saving money. Others are terrified of changing doctors. Keep this in mind when considering switching to a new plan.

How will your current medications be covered under the plan you are considering? If you take only generic drugs, you shouldn't have a problem - but brand drugs can be covered differently from plan to plan. Under different plans, co-pays for the same brand name drug can be dramatically different. This can add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

What do local healthcare professionals think about the plans in your area? Actually, a great person to ask is the receptionist at your doctor's office. They usually know which plan(s) the doctors like. The most common complaint is how difficult it is to get approval for tests and procedures. Doctors and their staffs are frustrated with some plans because of difficulties and delays in getting "prior authorizations". Getting some 'inside' information can be valuable in your decision making.

There are many things to consider when evaluating Medicare Advantage plans during this year's annual enrollment period. Remember, the annual enrollment period this year runs from October 15 - December 7.

(There are some exceptions to changing plans outside the Medicare annual enrollment period. If you move you may be able to change plans or, if for some reason, your plan is terminated. Also there are some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans that you can switch to anytime during the year. If you have a Medicare supplement plan you can change any time during the year.)

You can compare the plans available in your area, and even enroll in a new plan should you choose, by visiting Medicare.gov or calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

Alternatively, many people appreciate help when evaluating their choices. For residents of California professional assistance is available, as local agent Michael Kortz will be happy to explain your options and provide the information you are looking for.