Switch to cheaper medical aid

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

One in every four South Africans can no longer afford to pay for medical aid, a survey among users of online financial guide, Justmoney.co.za, has revealed.

The survey found that 25percent of South Africans had been forced to abandon their healthcare scheme because it had become too expensive.

Despite the price of medical aid premiums having risen by an inflation-busting average of 10 percent, 60percent of the people polled admitted that they never or rarely "shop-around" to find cheaper medical aid premiums.

The Justmoney.co.za poll found that 44percent of people had never shopped around for cheaper medical aid, with 16percent having not reviewed their medical aid in the past five years.

Only 15percent of people polled shop around for cheaper medical aid annually.

Paul Beadle, general manager of Justmoney.co.za, said the poll proves that the soaring cost of medical aids is forcing a lot of people to give up vital health cover because they don't have the money to pay higher premiums.

"The problem has been worsened by the fact that the majority of people don't review their medical aid cover and don't shop around to find more cost-effective schemes," he said.

This is the reason why his company had joined forces with Optivest - South Africa's leading healthcare consultant - to create a one-stop-shop giving consumers access to almost 40 different schemes.

The joint venture will also provide them with instant comparison quotes from a range of companies.