Securing an affordable medical aid is difficult already; so how do you go about it if you don’t have an income? For whichever reason you are unemployed, there are certain things you should know about medical insurance that may still be available to you.
In South Africa, up to 25% of the country is living without medical insurance, and pay straight out of their pockets for all doctor’s visits and/or medication.
Majority of the unemployed people who are looking for affordable medical aid are students. Students have many benefits and options; but who knew it stretched all the way to affordable medical aid?!
Students can make use of:
- As a child dependant (younger than 21 years old), you can be covered by your parent’s medical aid on a student specific scheme and pay a much lower child dependant fee.
- You will be receiving medical aid cover as a full-time student for much less than an individual medical aid plan without student benefits.
Unemployed persons seeking affordable Medical Aid should be aware of:
- The National Health Insurance (NHI) which is a 10-point plan that started in 2012, where a R1 billion was invested into finding an affordable way to provide the country with medical care.
- The National Health Act of 2003 provides the basis for a single South African health system that provides basic health care. Including EMERGENCY TREATMENT and making decisions regarding your own health.
- Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act, 59 of 2002 strives to provide medications at more inexpensive prices in order to make them available to more people.
If you have recently lost your job or have been unemployed, your options of medical insurance may be limited. However, dropping your cover completely may be unwise. Some things to consider are:
- Switching to a cheaper hospital plan so that you are covered in case of an emergency for hospital stay and ambulance transport.
- Some medical insurance may have a clause whereby you are covered for a number of months until you can find employment, so ask your medical insurance provider about their clauses on this. This cover is considered void in the case that you were fired.
- Your only option may be to pay cash for medical healthcare until you can cover your insurance costs. If you can cut costs to keep your cover, it may be wise to do so.
Don’t let a slip in your career path derail your medical cover. Keep yourself and your family well cared for, even if you are between jobs.