For members who are on health plans with a medical savings account (MSA), the start of the new year ushers in great relief because medical savings funds are replenished. These are the funds that assist to pay for but not limited to items such as out of hospital procedures, doctors’ visits and medications.
Members need to be careful and wise when spending these funds to make them last longer into the year. The mismanagement and incorrect use of medical savings funds could cause members not to be sufficiently covered for the 12-month or for when emergencies arise.
The premature depletion of the medical aid savings fund can cause unwanted stress and disappointment. To reduce financial stress and out of pocket payments, Glopin Healthcare Consultants have compiled a few guidelines to help you stretch your medical aid savings benefits further into the year.
For more advice about your scheme and benefits, feel free to chat with one of our friendly consultants.
- Understand your plan.
Read the correspondence you receive from your medical scheme, check out the corresponding web-site and ask your health consultant about different options. The task to familiarise yourself with product information will help you be aware of what you are covered for alongside the different rates that are applied with various suppliers.
- When and where possible, visit a pharmacy instead of a doctor.
Many services such as the flu injection, blood pressure tests, HIV tests, certain vaccinations and over the counter medications are available at retail pharmacy clinics. By taking advantage of the services offered at a pharmacy, it allows you to avoid the cost of a doctor’s consultation fee.
- Research the network service providers for your plan.
Familiarise yourself with healthcare professionals within your medical aid’s network as they will charge rates that are lower than private rates and prevent co-payments. Also, using a network reduces stress and additional costs of administrative functions when you already not feeling well as the scheme pays the provider directly.
- Understand your Prescribed Minimum Benefits and Chronic Mediation benefits for your plan.
Understand your chronic health conditions, research if your plan covers the conditions and request your GP to apply for coverage from your plan in order for the costs not to be deducted from your savings funds. Understand what benefits are provided as part of a PMB condition and utilise the service of the designated service provider to ensure that your claims are paid from risk rather than from your medical savings account.
- Prevention is better than cure.
Should your plan provide preventative screening and lifestyle benefits, take advantage of these. Early detection and healthy lifestyle programmes will limit in hospital expenditure alongside a variety of medical costs.