The Medical Savings Account (MSA) refers to the option on many South African medical schemes plans where available funds are allocated to your Medical Aid that you can use for your non-hospital expenses (day-to-day expenses). Claims are paid from this account subject to the availability of funds. Many members may find that their medical aid savings accounts are depleted much sooner than anticipated.
The start of a new year brings with it a replenished Medical Savings Account. We encourage members to use these benefits wisely so that they can try to extend the value of the benefit across the full 12 -months of the year.
While the funds are available in full at the beginning of the year, we recommend you try to preserve the funds in your medical savings account to prevent out-of-pocket expenses during the later months of the year.
Below are a few guidelines to help you stretch your medical aid savings benefits further into the year. Alternatively, chat with your Glopin Healthcare broker for some personal advice.
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. These groups or networks are also known as the scheme’s Designated Service Providers (DSP). These DSPs could range from using certain hospitals, pharmacies, and GPs to name a few.
Understand your Prescribed Minimum Benefits and Chronic Mediation Benefits for your plan.
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. The Chronic Illness Benefit (CIB) covers you for approved treatment for a specified list of chronic conditions. Ask your healthcare provider to apply to have your medicine covered for your chronic condition from the risk cover rather than your MSA.
Also, ask doctors to prescribe formulary drugs (list of drugs that will be funded by medical schemes for each condition). The generic medication pharmacological effects are exactly the same as those of their brand-name counterparts but are available at a lower cost or covered by the medical scheme.
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.