No breadwinner wants to imagine what would happen to their family’s medical aid cover should they be unable to pay the premiums. However, it is a reality that medical aid falls away when the main member, who is usually the breadwinner, dies or becomes disabled. Without a stable income, it is difficult to pay for the ever increasing costs of having medical aid in South Africa.
Your scheme may understand your plight for a month or so but ultimately non-payment of your monthly contributions means no more cover. Fortunately there are insurance products in place that have catered for these possibilities. The medical aid premium waiver cover can protect you for up to 24 months by paying your monthly contributions for you and your family.
How does it work?
Medical aid premium waiver is not a standard part of your medical aid cover. It is a standalone insurance policy that allows you to rest assured that your premiums will be taken care of if you cannot. Some medical aids may offer this additional protection but usually you have to buy a medical aid premium waiver policy from an insurance company. It is a separate cover just like medical aid gap cover. Most policies will cover your premiums for about R3,000 to R4,000 per month for a period as long as 2 years if the main member dies or becomes disabled.
The payout is directly to your medical aid and not to any member of the scheme. This ensures that there is no cash in a person’s hand that may end up getting used for other expenses. It essentially secures their medical aid cover for 2 years. However, if the monthly contributions to keep medical aid exceeds the policy’s payout then the difference has to be paid by somebody else – your spouse, friends or relatives. Or your family can simply downgrade their cover to ensure that they still have medical albeit a lower plan.
Costs of Medical Aid Premium Waiver
The cost of having medical aid premium waiver is independent of your monthly medical aid premiums. Do not confuse the two financial products – they are different. Medical aid premium waiver starts from around R100 per month and most will cover medical aid contributions for around R4,000 per month for up to 2 years.
You can always speak to a broker about high cover for a higher monthly premium. It may seem like another monthly expense but when you consider just how much medical aid is protecting your from the exorbitant private healthcare costs in South Africa, you would not want to imagine your family trying to survive without this level of care.
Optional Extra or Basic Necessity?
Everybody wants to trim costs and to some, medical aid premium waiver seems like an unnecessary expense every month. You may feel that you are young and healthy and at no risk of dying any time soon. You may consider yourself to be a cautious person who is always safe and disability is unlikely. But that is being rather short sighted, especially in a world where the high crime and road traffic accident rate can cost your life or at the very least your limbs.
Medical aid waiver is not mandatory. It is an optional extra but for any person wanting to ensure their family’s heath in the future, it should be seen as a basic necessity. It all seems so confusing as more products enter the market above and beyond the traditional medical aid. These days there is a hospital cash back plan, gap cover and now premium waiver. But these products have not been developed and do not exist for no reason. It fills a need in the market as responsible people want to secure themselves.