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Sunday, April 1, 2007
Medical minefield

A New Year often brings with it major life changes for many people: moving house, switching jobs and possibly growing a family. All of these mean adjustments to your finances and insurance needs so it’s an ideal time to ensure you have the most suitable financial protection.

Comments John Sherratt, MD of iChoices, “Your healthcare cover is surely the most important of any other form of insurance you have protecting you and your family. But how do you choose from the many schemes on the market?
“South Africans have many factors to consider when choosing the most suitable medical scheme. Healthcare and contract jargon is often confusing for the average person who can’t be expected to understand this terminology or read between the lines regarding benefits and exclusions,” he adds.
“So it is always advisable to use the services of an accredited broker, who has the expertise to navigate you through what can be a medical minefield. Enlisting a professional from the beginning will help you to avoid making ill-informed decisions.”
In addition, Mr Sherratt lists a few points to remember.
Ensure your broker suggests at least three medical scheme options for you from which to choose. He needs to give you this choice by law.
Check out the financial health of any scheme you are considering. Ask your broker questions about a scheme’s liquidity levels, claims paying ability and also member service history.
Ask your broker about the iChoices Benefits Calculator, a valuable tool that uses patented technology to compare packages across a range of schemes. Endorsed by Moonstone Compliance (PTY) Ltd, which manages compliance officers for more than 4 500 brokers nationwide, this tool assists the broker in matching your exact needs with the three most appropriate healthcare options.
And finally, remember to give your broker all the information he needs to give you the best advice. Withholding details of family illnesses or predisposed conditions could seriously backfire, leaving you with hefty medical bills.
“Don’t delay on getting the best medical cover for your needs. Nowadays, our circumstances tend to change frequently so you should review your healthcare cover just as often. Be sure to get advice from the experts and then make an informed decision. There’s no time like the present.”
To speak to an iChoices consultant about the Benefit Calculator please call the relationship centre on 0860 350 950.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.3 1st April, 2007
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