Once you reach the age of 18 years, you may not be eligible to remain on your parent’s or guardian’s medical aid at the same dependent rate for children. Most medical aids in South Africa may want to increase the rate at age 18 while others will do so at the age of 21 years. If your parent’s employer is subsidising the medical aid rates then your continued membership after a certain age may also be a problem.
Medical Aid for Students
In cases where you are not working or are continuing your academics in a tertiary institution, you may still want medical aid cover at reasonable rates. A student medical aid is a specially designed plan that will offer you cover at an affordable price. These plans take your academic commitments into account and if you can provide proof of your college or university membership, you will qualify for their special rates.
Cheap Student Hospital Plan
A student medical aid may not appeal to everybody. If you are over 18 years and need to get off your parent’s medical aid, you can also consider a cheap medical aid plan. Since you are young and if you are healthy, a simple hospital plan with chronic cover may suffice for your health care needs. These hospital only plans are very affordable and certain medical aids will even offer you additional benefits which may appeal to a young person. These extra benefits may include gym membership, reduced rates for movie tickets and cheap domestic flights.
Network Medical Aid Plans
For those students wanting more comprehensive cover at a reduced rate, you can opt for network plans within the medical aid. These plans are also very affordable and will provide day-to-day (out of hospital) cover along with full hospital cover. The condition in these network plans is that you can only visit certain clinics or doctors for out of hospital health services.
The Prime Cure option available through most medical aids as well as the Discovery Health Key Care plan are examples of affordable comprehensive health care which is restricted to network practitioners and facilities. If you are unsure about the feasibility of these plans, make sure that you compare medical aids and then decide if it suits you.
If you have to leave your existing medical aid, then make the transition as soon as possible. Allowing your membership to lapse on one medical aid may affect your benefits on the new medical aid. You may have a waiting period if you join a medical aid without having previous cover. Alternatively certain medical aid exclusions may apply that could prevent you from accessing chronic medicines and services that you may need.