The final quarter of 2021 is well underway and consumers are turning their thoughts to what matters most as they begin to make plans for the year ahead, with conversations around health remaining prominent at both the dinner and boardroom table. As the SA economy struggles to get up from its knees, Josua Joubert, chief executive and principal officer of CompCare Medical Scheme, takes a look at what the wise private healthcare consumer is looking for.
Whether a private individual or the employee of a corporate client, the majority of medical scheme members will have family healthcare needs to consider and, as any astute healthcare advisor can attest, price-point is a key driver in the decision making process.
Important to consider is the average weighted contribution increase for 2022, and a scheme that has managed to keep increases to a level below that of the pre-COVID era clearly understands the member’s financial position. At the same time, reliability is paramount and maintaining an exceptional solvency ratio of above 45% places a scheme in a league of its own when it comes to a stable and predictable financial future.
As a family man I can relate to the need to provide the best possible groundings for one’s children. A scheme that provides kids with a nutritional assessment and a healthy eating plan specially developed for children, is a partner in health worth seeking out. Likewise, a consultation with an occupational therapist, a fitness assessment and an exercise prescription programme for your children can set them on a path of lifelong physical fitness.
Naturally, every young family will want cover for those building blocks in the early years – baby wellness visits and childhood immunisations, preschool eye, hearing and dental screenings as well as a school readiness assessment. With little ones under the age of six who are starting out at preschool, exploring a wider world and building their immune systems, it can be a lifesaver to have unlimited cover for GP visits and basic dentistry, as well as an extra annual visit to the emergency room.
According to Joubert, when it comes to employer groups seeking to protect and maintain the good health of their employees and their loved ones, the value of preventative care truly comes into its own, particularly if these benefits are paid from risk and do not affect day-to-day or savings benefits.
Being active should, by the same token, allow a real sense of choice with a reliable medical scheme that not only provides access to outstanding wellness benefits but also cover injuries from adventure sports. Not all schemes can offer this level of freedom but those that do, afford members the option to pursue their wellness goals in their own way.
Finally, being a pillar that supports a company or family, and sometimes both, can take its mental toll – especially in difficult times. Having access to a 24/7, unlimited professional telephonic emotional health and wellbeing support line, with referrals for one-on-one counselling when needed, can be the stabilising force we all sometimes need.
At the end of the day, raising a family in the 2020s is not easy. As a member, wouldn’t you wish for a medical scheme that recognises the human behind the membership number? A scheme that is really there for you, whether you are reaching for new health goals or dealing with a difficult diagnosis. In short – wouldn’t you want a scheme that shows up for you, every step of the way?