The Health Insurance Challenge: Speak to experts before making costly mistakes

16 April 2021 Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA)

Financial Intermediaries Association of South Africa Speaks at Smart Money at Money Week 2021

Andre Jacobs, Member of the Healthcare Executive Committee of the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA), was recorded at the recent Smart Money Week with consumer advice on choosing the right Healthcare product for you and your family.

Jacobs, who has more than 30 experience in the Healthcare market, explained how complex it is for consumers to get to grips with the jargon, the options, and the costs of buying the right scheme at an affordable price.

He firmly believes that a healthcare intermediary/broker is the answer. “There are almost 80 medical aid/healthcare insurance schemes in South Africa. Each scheme has multiple options making about 300 options to choose from,” says Jacobs. “How can customers understand which is the best for his/her family, which plan, which option, will it cover their needs? Each company has options from cheap to very expensive, so how does the average consumer make an informed decision?”

Explaining the role of the professional broker/intermediary, Jacobs stressed the benefits. “Our Intermediaries are experienced and knowledgeable in the Healthcare market. Their role is to guide, protect and educate consumers so they can make decisions based on their personal needs and financial budget.”

Covid pushed healthcare insurance to the top of many families’ priority lists. He says the national Healthcare system – both private and public – was unprepared for the pandemic, with hospitals being overwhelmed and citizens not knowing where to go or what to do. “This was a problem across the world,” says Jacobs, “and South Africa was no exception.”

Today, things have settled down but the challenge of getting the right cover for your family is more important than ever. Brokers, intermediaries, and financial advisors will discuss your family needs for healthcare cover, what you can afford each month, and which products are best. Also, intermediaries are highly regulated, bring their experience to helping you with your claims, if you need extra products like GAP, at no additional cost to you. “The price quoted to you directly by an insurer is the same through a broker,” he says. The difference is the analysis, information, and protection you will get having a broker to assist you at every level. “Why wouldn’t you choose a broker?” Jacobs says.

Three Top Things to look for in a broker:
1. Are they qualified? – the FIA and FPI regulate advisors, brokers and intermediaries
2. How experienced and knowledgeable are they? – did they offer you a needs analysis?
3. Are they independent? – or they only pointing you to one company?

Three Top Tips for choosing a Medical Aid/ Healthcare Insurance plan
1. Do you understand it? – ask questions
2. Does it cover your family’s specific needs? – disclose pre-existing conditions
3. Can you afford it? – it’s about value. You get what you pay for.

You need to have smart money advice to be able to make smart financial choices.

Money Smart Week South Africa 2021 is taking place virtually and will consist of a host of online events throughout the week, all of which is streamed on - Creating a Money Smart South Africa #MSWSA2021 #MSWSA

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