Brian Harris, General Manager Operations at Turnberry Management Risk Solutions

Insurance Biz – 5th June 2024

When you are just starting out in the workforce, financial planning is critical to  making the most of your earnings. Part of your financial planning should always include medical cover. In South Africa, accessing quality private healthcare means you need medical aid, but this is increasingly expensive, and as such, gap cover has become essential in balancing cover with limited budgets. Gap cover is a vital part of ensuring financial and physical wellbeing, and talking to your broker about the right options for your needs will help you avoid financial risk and set yourself up for the future.

Balancing cost and cover

While in the past, employers may have subsidised medical aid contributions, this is increasingly uncommon due to affordability factors. Comprehensive medical aid cover now costs many thousands of Rands a month, which means it is simply not a feasible solution for many just starting out in the job market. In addition, most people entering the workforce are young and healthy, which means they need cover for accidents and unforeseen illnesses, but not necessarily enough to justify the premiums of comprehensive plans.

Entry-level medical aid options such as hospital plans are often ideal, but with the reduced premium comes an increased likelihood of medical expense shortfalls, as well as co-payments and sub-limits. This is where gap cover is an invaluable addition. It offers an affordable way of augmenting medical aid cover and reducing financial risk.

Advice on affordability

Medical aid is something that is often seen as a luxury, but for those with the income to afford it, it is a vital investment in your health and your financial future. State healthcare facilities are understaffed and have long waiting periods, especially for elective surgeries and treatment for illnesses like cancer. In addition, despite popular belief, they do not provide free healthcare; the cost of your treatment is directly proportional to your earnings, so those with higher salaries will end up paying higher amounts. With medical aid, you have access to treatment at private facilities, even if these are within a specified network.

However, it is important to remember that with entry-level medical scheme options, there is an increased risk of shortfalls in cover. Shortfalls in excess of R50 000 are not uncommon today, and these are not even seen by gap cover providers as large claims. Affordability is a critical part of the decision-making process; it is essential to get the best coverage for your budget, and gap cover can be a lifesaver and a saviour for your financial future. A financial advisor or broker can help you find the most cost-effective options for your circumstances and your budget and match gap cover to medical aid cover effectively.

Brian Harris | Helping the emerging workforce access quality, affordable private healthcare | Insurance Biz

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I hereby want to thank you for the excellent service from Turnberry Gap Cover.   With every call that I have made to Turnberry I was served with patience, kindness and very friendly and everyone that I have spoken to were helpful.   I highly recommend anybody to make use of the Turnberry Gap Cover.  Out of 10 I will surely give Turnberry 10.    Hannes Kroukam 

What a great experience I had with Turnberry, they were so professional and most of all so speedy to settle my claim. Very seldom does one get this kind of service, I can really recommend them with a good heart.     Carol Pagani