Members of medical aid schemes may already get notices in the mail about 2023 contribution hikes. You can always move to a different plan if you think the increase is too much, but you should be sure to compare like plans.
The Council for Medical Schemes issued recommendations earlier this year, recommending that medical plans limit annual premium increases to no more than 5.7%, which is less than the rate of inflation.
In contrast, during the past decade, medical system contribution increases have been around 4% more than inflation.
Understanding the 2023 medical inflation
According to medicalaid.com, as benefit use rises back to pre-COVID levels, healthcare expenses have grown for medical schemes as a whole over the past year. In particular, the price of hospital admissions has risen by 21% compared to 2019 levels.
In essence, we are entering a tremendously difficult period, so it is more important than ever to exercise fiscal restraint in providing for your health and gaining access to high-quality private healthcare.
In a hyper-inflationary economy, the cost of living, food, petrol, electricity, and coping with load-shedding have all increased dramatically, putting enormous strain on the average South African family’s budget.
The health ombud has warned parliament that the public health sector is in such a dire state and work to raise standards is progressing so slowly that most facilities will not make the grade to provide services under National Health Insurance, making medical scheme membership a non-negotiable for many households.
A further reality is that despite annual increases in medical scheme contributions to keep up with healthcare hyperinflation, most medical scheme members will be paying more for the same or fewer medical scheme benefits.
They will also be paying out a far greater percentage of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure that is not covered by their medical scheme benefit, especially for members on core plans.
What some of the top medical aid schemes are projected to charge in 2023 Healthcare inflation in South Africa is 3% to 4% over inflation due to factors including new technology, the industry’s ageing population, and the increasing cost of treatment.
Some medical aid schemes with healthy reserves have decided to impose postponed increases to help members deal with the growing cost of living crisis. Members should expect a rise in their 2023 premiums beginning in April of this year.
Increases in deferred contributions have been announced by both Discovery Health and Momentum Health Solutions.
- Momentum Health Solutions has declared an average contribution increase of 6.4%, while Discovery is playing it safe by waiting until the end of February 2023 to reveal the exact amount. However, it seems likely that members can expect an annual increase of between CPI and CPI + 2%, taking into account the deferral, which is in line with medical inflation, which is normally 3% to 4% above the consumer price increase (CPI).
- As a result of the smaller contribution increase, Momentum Medical Scheme has not cut any benefits.
- Most Medihelp plans cover dependent children up to the age of 26, and the company is raising premiums by an average of 7.51 per cent in 2023.