What medical aids aren’t telling you about your annual increases
Medical Scheme 2024 membership contributions have been in the spotlight recently, since medical aids all released their rate increases last month. And it’s no wonder, with the cost of living increasing exponentially each year, South Africans are incredibly sensitive to price increases, especially when it comes to aspects such as their health.
This year Schemes have announced weighted average contribution increases ranging from 7.5% to 15.97%. But what many members don’t realise is that these %s do not indicate how their savings or benefits may have been reduced, even though their medical scheme may have aligned with a ‘minimal’ % contribution increase in some instances. Where people might assume they won’t be paying a lot more for medical cover in 2024, they will likely receive less benefits, or have to pay more money in, than in years to date. So, they WILL be paying more for medical aid, just indirectly.
Within this context, it’s important to understand the background around increases over the last couple of years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind. Most schemes opted for very low increases during those pandemic years which is now having repercussions, hence the current higher increases. A correct pricing strategy from a medical aid perspective is key and if schemes try to come in with artificially low increases, they always end up having to catch-up in the following years. Luckily Fedhealth was prudent with increases during the Covid years, so we can continue to offer the same high value benefits and savings to our current members in 2024.
Jeremy Yatt, the Principal at Fedhealth, has unpacked what this all means for people in layman’s terms, plus why it’s now more important than ever to know exactly what you’re covered for. Have a listen to him being interviewed on various radio and TV channels over the past week:
- Early breakfast with Africa Melane on Cape Talk/Radio 702
- Live interview on eNCA
- SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb