At the time of writing this article, we could not find any information about the Liberty Hospital Plan. According to their website, they provide gap cover and access to Bestmed & Bonitas medical schemes.
What are hospital plans? Most people have heard of medical insurance, which is risk-based coverage wherein members pay a fixed monthly premium to the insurer. This coverage will only cover out of pocket expenses in special cases and comes with some advantages. Unfortunately, this system does not cover any pre-existing conditions and can be quite expensive. As a consequence, it has been called an inefficient financial investment as people invest more in buying an automobile than in paying for an existing health condition.
On the other hand, hospital plans are a health-insurance alternative in which monthly premiums are paid in return for certain benefits, such as coverage for emergencies or treatment for an existing condition. The advantage of this type of plan is that there is no need to pay a lump sum amount in case of an emergency. Furthermore, hospital plans can cover up to a certain limit depending on the policy. The minimum coverage limits for different policies vary from company to company.
Apart from medical assistance, hospital plans also cover prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, maternity leave and psychotherapy. This type of plan is used by those who are unable to afford private medical help. This is particularly important for single income earners because the monthly premiums can be quite high. However, these policies do not cover any pre-existing conditions and thus cannot be used for long term illness. Unlike other insurance plans, hospital plans cannot be claimed if the policyholder becomes incapacitated due to a long-term illness or condition. In addition, no claim will be made if the policyholder becomes permanently disabled due to an accident.
On the contrary, hospital plans in South Africa were introduced to assist those who live in the rural areas where medical assistance is unavailable. Hospital plans were specifically designed for the rural population to help them get proper healthcare and at a much more affordable rate. Coverage includes dental care, medication and healthcare for newborns and mothers, immunizations and prescriptions.
When choosing hospital plans in South Africa, several things need to be considered. Most importantly, the cost of the policy should be considered. Moreover, one must consider the co-payments and the deductibles to be paid, as well as the types of medical aids that will be covered. Depending on the needs of the family, one can opt for a wide range of medical schemes, or choose the basic medical aids and choose from a range of healthcare providers.
Finally, it is important to note that hospital plans in South Africa are regulated by a governing body, which sets out a set of quality standards and guidelines. While these policies are put into place to improve healthcare, they do not mean that all healthcare providers in the country are necessarily accredited. As such, one must ensure that the hospital medical aid plan they are looking at is covering their chosen healthcare provider. Some plans do not have any regulations but rather only stipulate that the service provider should have a recognized name. It is important to ensure that one chooses a healthcare provider that is accredited by the governing body to ensure that they receive the best service and medical aid possible.