“How am I supposed to afford medical aid on a first-time salary?”

– Tanya Motlafe (Director, Cornerstone Healthcare Consulting Services)

If you have asked this question before, rest assured, you are one of countless young professionals who are asking the exact same thing. With medical expenses ever on the rise, having a medical aid is almost a no brainer, but scraping together enough cash to afford the monthly premium when you have just started working seems like a near impossible task.

Luckily, with Cornerstone Healthcare Consulting Services at your side, you’ll be able to find a suitable medical aid option that fits both your lifestyle and your pocket. To get you started, here are some of the things you should consider when taking out your first medical aid:

Rather opt for network benefit options

If you are planning to live and work in a specific area for a few years, taking out a network medical aid benefit option might be a great fit for you. These options will allow you to save on your monthly premiums by making use of healthcare providers and hospitals within a specific network or area. It might seem scary to only make use of certain healthcare providers, but if most of the listed network providers are accessible in your area, it’s a perfect match. Many network options offer full cover for in-hospital treatments, including specialists, and day-to-day benefits, giving you a more comprehensive benefit than you might expect.

Don’t exclude hospital plans

Many people think that hospital plans are the bad guys of the medical aid industry that “never pay for anything” –  this cannot be further from the truth. Hospital plans provide the same comprehensive in-hospital cover as most other, more traditional medical aid benefit options. The main difference is that a hospital plan may not cover out-of-hospital benefits like GP visits, optometry and dentistry. However, if you are a healthy person who visits the doctor or dentist once a year, do you really need extensive out-of-hospital cover? Probably not.

A hospital plan is much more affordable and can be tailor-made to meet a healthy young person’s healthcare needs. To find out how you can benefit from a custom-made hospital plan, click here and let Cornerstone Healthcare Consulting Services do all the hard work for you at no extra cost to you.

Gap cover must become your new best friend

Gap cover is one of the most affordable ways to supercharge your current medical aid option. Gap cover is very aptly named because it does exactly what it says – it covers shortfalls between what the healthcare providers charges and what the medical aid rate covers. Depending on which benefit option you have selected, there will be times where large, unforeseen out of pocket co-payments might be applicable, especially for hospital treatments. Gap cover takes care of these co-payments so that you can focus on your health and getting back on your feet. Surprisingly, gap cover is not as expensive as you might think, with most monthly premiums under the R300 mark. Furthermore, your medical aid and gap cover does not have to be from the same provider, allowing for more freedom of choice.


Save and get rewarded with loyalty programmes

Many medical schemes offer great loyalty programmes that reward you for living a healthy and active life. These rewards usually include vouchers, gifts and discounts. If you use these loyalty programmes correctly and responsibly, you can easily subsidise your monthly medical aid premiums with the savings and rewards you earn. Another added benefit is that by living healthier, you will decrease your chances of having to visit the doctor and stretch your medical aid benefits even further.

For more interesting and useful information on the medical schemes industry, like our Facebook page or click here to get in touch with Cornerstone Healthcare Consulting Services to take advantage of the countless benefits that comes with having a specialised healthcare broker.

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