How does the “%” affect your pocket

medical aid increases

The global recession has led to the tightening of many a South African citizen’s purse-strings.

And while many medical aids choose to express their annual contribution increases as a percentage, it is important to establish what the true rand value of such an increase will mean to one’s budget. The expression of a ‘low’ percentage increase works along the same lines as labelling a product in a store for R9.99 instead of R10. It looks cheaper, but is it really?

If one were to join a medical aid stating that the annual contributions due will only increase by between 7.9% and 11.2%, this would seem to be quite reasonable. But there are two very important factors to consider; firstly, what is the original monthly payment to be increased (the higher the contribution in 2012, the more the increase will equate to in 2013) and, secondly, what does this percentage actually mean to one’s bottom line when described in rand value?

According to recent research conducted by Genesis Medical Scheme, although the percentage increases seem minimal, these can equate to as much as a R581 difference in one’s monthly contributions. This research was based on the average monthly contributions for a family of four* (two adults and two children). In an economy which is forcing people to spend as little as possible, this is an enormous increase. Such increases may even result in members being forced to cancel or downgrade their medical cover in order to survive from month to month. This leaves them vulnerable and exposed should a medical emergency occur.

A further pitfall of many medical aids is that, for one to have access to affordable cover, one would have to make use of a certain network of doctors or hospitals. This limitation of freedom of choice in itself presents a problem to many members. In addition to this, many hospitals require costly upfront deposits for members of certain medical aids, deposits which one simply cannot afford.

Many have also experienced frustration at not being afforded adequate access to dental care as the costs herein have become astronomical and are often being deducted from medical savings. This leads, once again, to members choosing not to look after their dental health as the cost is simply too great to manage.

When considering these extra costs and requirements, one begins to wonder where the focus on access to quality healthcare is; how can one ensure that one is covered for true support and peace of mind in any medical situation?

Genesis Medical Scheme offers truly affordable medical aid solutions which boasts the lowest average annual increases of all open medical schemes for 2013, at only R153 per month for a family of four* (approximately 4.95% increase). From as little as R795 per adult per month, Genesis members enjoy excellent hospital cover at any private hospital in SA (no obligatory network of hospitals or doctors), basic dentistry benefits of up to R25 000 per person per annum, low child premiums and no deposits payable prior to hospital admissions.

Different from the rest

Genesis Medical Scheme offers exceptional benefits that will suit its members’ unique medical and financial needs. The scheme’s no-frills and easy-to-understand benefit options offer members peace of mind and access to quality healthcare. Genesis provides excellent financial cover during times of life-threatening diseases and ill-health. By focusing on access to quality healthcare, it ensures that members and their families continually receive the support and peace of mind they deserve. For more information, please contact Genesis on 0861 564 6669, at or visit

Terms & conditions apply as set out in the Scheme Rules.

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