Over the past few years, medical inflation has outstripped the inflation of Medical Aid premiums, resulting in year on year increases in medical expenses shortfalls and co-payments. Gap Cover providers are now paying out more than medical aids in certain instances. Moreover, Gap Cover is an essential component of any financial portfolio to protect you against potentially crippling medical expense shortfalls. The situation is only going to worsen, which means you simply cannot afford to be without Gap Cover anymore.
Further compounding the problem, there is an increasing disparity between what providers charge and what medical aids will pay. These factors together could easily result in a scenario where you will have to pay a sizeable co-payment, a non-network provider penalty, and then further medical expense shortfalls on top of medical aid rates. The cost of medical procedures these days means that these additional expenses could add up to significant sums that you will be liable for out of pocket if you do not have Gap Cover in place.
As Medical Aids are under constant pressure to balance benefits with affordable contributions, they have had to resort to creative strategies to attempt to maximise coverage. This means that co-payments now exist where previously there were none, including on procedures at doctors’ offices and not just at hospitals for certain procedures. In addition, members are now being restricted to using certain providers at certain networks, with penalties applied if patients go outside of these networks.
The vast majority of claims we see result from providers charging more than the medical aid rate, with co-payments and non-network hospital charges also forming significant percentages of claims. The reality is that medical expense shortfalls are not only something that the frail or ill need to consider. Often, it is the unforeseen that can result in the most significant medical expense shortfalls. With the cost of everything going up, out of pocket medical expense shortfalls can cripple you. Gap Cover is a necessity to protect your financial future and wellbeing.