Are you one of the many medical aid members who are running out of savings, even before the start of winter? Are you now in a situation where you just hope and pray that the kids won’t catch the sniffles, your temporary filling will last until next year, and trying to convince yourself that you don’t really need to be able to read street names when driving – after all, you’ve lived here half your life?
If you run out of savings before mid-year, every year, you should probably upgrade to a more comprehensive option. However, if you have just had a bad run of luck this year, and everyone in your family came down with the same tummy bug, followed by toothache, followed by the flu… you should consider an additional savings vehicle to tide you over these unforeseen and unplanned disasters.
While the medical aid industry is limited by legislation as to the amount of savings you can have on your medical aid (25% of contributions is the maximum), there are products in the market that allow you additional savings that are ring-fenced around medical service providers. In other words, you can elect to put extra money into one of these savings accounts, as and when you want (or you can contribute via a regular debit order). This money is then available to use at any medical service provider (doctors, dentists, pharmacies etc.) which has a facility for card payments. So when you do run out of savings mid-year, you can at least afford to take Little Johnny to the doctor when he comes down with the winter sniffles, and not have to rely on grandma’s age-old remedies which have been known to either kill or cure!
These savings accounts are also ideal for someone who has only hospital cover – although hospital cover only is ideal for young and healthy people who only occasionally visit the doctor, you still want to have peace of mind that should you suffer from excruciating toothache the day before payday, you will be able to visit your dentist (and pay him!) from your savings account.
If you are one of the many unfortunate people who now have to avoid crowds and chew garlic to ward off the winter flu because of a lack of funds in your medical savings account, speak to your Financial Advisor about taking out a Healthcard – because your health is your most important asset, and compromising it could end up compromising your future.
By: Vanessa Roux (Certified Financial Planner)