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February 26th, 2015 by


health care careers - Things to be Aware of When Purchasing Hospital Insurance

Written by Chelsea Petersen
As South Africa does not currently have a national medical scheme, medical aid and Hospital Insurance are offered by private insurance companies. The cost of medical care has steadily increased in recent years, so having a good hospital plan can be hugely beneficial should you ever need such care.  All insurance companies have a wide range of policies, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. There are certain things that you should be aware of, and understand, about a policy before making your decision.
What is the difference between Medical Insurance and Hospital Insurance?
People often don’t understand the difference between medical and hospital cover. If affordable, it’s actually a good idea to purchase both. Depending on your Medical Insurance policy, all medical bills can be covered including those associated with, disease and long-term illness, disabilities, funeral stays, and sometimes hospital cover. Hospital Insurance, however, is specifically for hospitalisation. This can be used if your medical insurance does not cover hospital bills or offer complete cover for hospitalisation.  The insurance will either pay out daily, or in one lump sum, directly to you.
What exactly does the plan cover?
Different plans cover different aspects of your hospital expenses, and afford different benefits. Obviously, the plan you purchase will depend on your lifestyle and home situation.  Look at what your situation requires, in terms of cover, for hospital expenses, and what other cover is necessary. Someone with a family would, for example, take out a more comprehensive cover that may include maternity, illness, accident and permanent disability hospitalisation.
How much does the plan cost?
Cost depends on the comprehensiveness of your plan, as well the medical centres covered by the plan. Having medical/hospital insurance requires paying a monthly sum to your insurance provider, the amount of which should be based on a balance between your needs and income. It is recommended that you at least take out a policy for accident hospitalisation, as hospital expenses can become overwhelming.
Which hospitals and doctors are included in the plan?
Many insurance companies have contracts with certain hospitals and practices regarding prices for their own members. It’s important to know which facilities are included in your plan, as it can limit you to only a few hospitals and practises where you will receive cover for treatment. This is a good idea if you want to avoid paying large expenses yourself. It is also extremely important to carry your hospital insurance information with you, at all times, should an accident occur.
What are the benefits?
Having hospital insurance ensures financial security during the hospitalisation period. This is especially important if you have many dependants. Having insurance means you will be paid out cash to cover the expense, a huge relief if you are hospitalised and cannot work for a significant amount of time. Neither you, nor your family have to worry about paying for the hospital bills. The insurance money is also paid straight to your own bank account, allowing you to settle the hospital bill as well as any additional expenses you may have incurred.
Click here for affordable insurance quotes.