Consumers, unable to make rands or sense of the many plans available and what they’re actually offering, are often tempted to migrate to what is perceived as a more affordable plan, but with less coverage.
“Comparing the average percentage increase in isolation is not an indicator of the value of the healthcare being provided,” said Gerhard Van Emmenis, principal officer of Bonitas Medical Fund. “We urge consumers to compare monthly contributions with the benefits to ensure they are getting the cover they need,” he said.
He maintains that simply comparing the average percentage increase announced by the various schemes is not a litmus test for value for money, since it does not take into account the basis on which the increase applies.
Here is a simple maths example: Two schemes offer the same benefits, however, Scheme A costs R1000 per month, while Scheme B costs R1100pm. If Scheme A announces a 10percent increase (R1100pm) and Scheme B announces a 7percent increase (R1177) but neither change or increase the benefits, then Scheme A is still providing the same benefits, at a lower cost, even though it announced a higher contribution increase.