Preparing for unexpected health expenses

It's no secret, healthcare can be very expensive even if you belong to a medical aid scheme. The bills often pile up, and it's usually when you least expect it. The key is to keep your medical savings account (MSA) from being depleted.

But how do you prepare for those unexpected medical expenses?

Save some cash and take advantage of partner services

Take advantage of the partners that your medical aid recommends. Your medical scheme negotiates preferential rates with these partners to help save you money. So check what hospital, doctor, pharmacist etc. is listed so you don't get charged the normal rate; this preserves your MSA balance and helps avoid co-payments, deductibles and additional out-of-pocket expenses.

Register all your chronic illnesses

If you're on medication to treat a chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, hypertension or hypothyroidism) you could qualify for chronic medication benefits. This means that your medical scheme pays for the medication from the risk portion of your medical aid - not your MSA. Speak to your medical aid adviser about it and register your condition as a chronic condition.

Take advantage of your medical aid benefits

Some medical aids offer benefits which include flu vaccines, emergency medical transport, maternity care and mental health benefits take advantage of it as this isn't affected by your MSA.

Use generic medication if you can

Medical schemes have a list of medications called formularies. To preserve your MSA, request these when necessary. You avoid co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses when your doctor treats you with medication listed on your schemes formulary. You can ask your doctor on your next visit.

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