Value for Money Makes All the Difference
Despite financial insecurity, an international economic downturn and a local recession, nobody wants to be caught short when it comes to healthcare cover – particularly in the midst of a global healthcare crisis. - Josua Joubert CEO and Principal Officer of CompCare Medical Scheme shares some industry insights. A year has passed since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in South Africa and the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 an international pandemic. Against the backdrop of the second COVID-19 wave and the likelihood of a third wave of infections, medical scheme members are increasingly looking beyond the cost of medical scheme cover for value and benefits that will withstand the turmoil of an altered world. While the pandemic has placed economic strain on many South African families, no one wants to be caught short when it comes to their medical cover, particularly not at a time like this. So, while South Africans are seeking value and flexibility in terms of cover, safeguarding the health and overall wellbeing of ones family is paramount. Today’s medical scheme needs to provide a highly flexible range of healthcare options that can meet every requirement of its members through each phase and economic stage of life. As for the scheme of the future, this scheme needs to consider how it can become a lifelong partner, instead of merely delivering a basic insurance product. A medical scheme that is fully attuned to the needs of its target market will always remain a few steps ahead of members on their journey through the many different phases of life. Such an approach will enable a scheme to design innovative and highly flexible benefits to anticipate member needs and requirements. CompCare Medical Scheme members and their dependants who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have access to benefits providing the best clinical care and support. This includes GP consultations, chest physiotherapy, a pulse oximeter for every family, a nebulizer, a home oxygenator where clinically necessary, an electronic thermometer as well as PCR tests and antibody tests when prescribed by a doctor. In addition, nutritional supplements such as Vitamins B, C, D and Zinc will be provided on options with discretionary savings. The scheme will also pay for an approved vaccination from risk, at no cost to members, when it becomes available. Research into the changing needs of the South African healthcare consumer has revealed a shift in focus when it comes to healthcare requirements. One particular change is the move towards enhanced psychosocial support. The impact of COVID-19 has further highlighted a worldwide mental healthcare crisis. Preliminary research by The Lancet indicates people are continuing to struggle with anxiety, fear, isolation, financial concerns, and uncertainty about their health and that of their families. Emotional wellness benefits that offer, for example, a 24-hour helpline with trained clinical professionals and referrals for face-to-face counselling when required, have become increasingly vital as a lifeline for members. This service, offered by CompCare to its entire member base, is a prime example of how a medical scheme can benefit its members by being there in their time of need. Unlimited cancer cover alongside an extensive preventative care benefit package for every stage of life as well as nutrition and fitness programmes are covered from CompCare’s risk pool – this goes a long way in ensuring that healthcare cover does not leave an already overstretched consumer with out-of-pocket expenses while providing additional peace of mind for families in a severely disrupted economy. Providing a healthcare service above all requires a sense of caring and fostering relationships of mutual responsibility, concern, and trust. Healthcare, as the word itself conveys, is about caring for people’s health and this is so much more than plain philosophy; it is the very foundation of our uncompromising people-first mindset.