Medical Savings Account – Spend Smart & Save 2023

At the start of each new year, members who belong to a medical aid scheme that provides a Medical Savings Account (MSA) are relieved when the MSA funds get replenished in January. These funds are set aside to pay for but are not limited to items such as out-of-hospital procedures, doctors’ visits, and medications.

Due to unforeseen circumstances and the high cost of living, many members tend to run out of funds towards the end of each year. With no funds left in the MSA, members find themselves in a self-payment gap, where they must pay for day-to-day expenses out of their own pocket.

Glopin Healthcare Consultants has gained a wealth of industry knowledge over the years that help us to inform and guide our clients as best as possible regarding managing your medical aid. This includes tips on how to manage your MSA to prolong the availability of funds throughout the 12 months.

To save money while managing your health, you need to know what your plan offers and what you can do to avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.

Follow the tips below and chat with a Glopin Healthcare Consultant to get the most out of your MSA for 2023.

Know What your Plan Offers

Familiarise yourself with all the benefits, limits, and additional rules, regulations, or added value benefits. The product information supplied by your broker will advise you about what you are covered for and the different rates applied by suppliers.

Use Designated Service Providers (DSPs)

Most Medical Aid Schemes provide a list of DSPs who have agreed to charge negotiated rates that benefit the member. Often there is an agreement between the medical aid and Network Service Provider to bill rates lower than private service provider rates, and by using DSPs, members could also prevent co-payments. Ask your Glopin healthcare Consultant for a list of DSPs.

Pharmacy Services

Many services like flu injections, blood pressure tests, HIV tests, certain vaccinations, and over-the-counter medications are available at retail pharmacy clinics. Taking advantage of the services offered at a pharmacy allows you to avoid the cost of a doctor’s consultation fee.

Ask your pharmacist for guidance on generic medications. Generic brands could be more cost-effective but have the same active ingredients, strength, and outcome as the original brand.

Take Advantage of Prescribed Minimum Benefits and Chronic Benefits 

If you have chronic health conditions that need to be managed, you may request your GP to apply for coverage under the Prescribed Minimum benefits or Chronic Medications Benefits instead of paying from your MSA. 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 the risk portion of your medical aid rather than from your medical savings account.

Preventative Screening and Lifestyle Benefits

Should your plan provide preventative screening and lifestyle benefits, take advantage of these. Early illness detection and healthy lifestyle programmes will limit in-hospital expenditure alongside various medical costs.