The biggest medical aid schemes in South Africa – how much they’re charging in 2018

The majority of South Africa’s biggest medical aid schemes have released their prices for 2018, showing below 10% increases across all plans.

According to the latest statistics released by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), there are currently 82 medical aid schemes operating in South Africa with a total subscription of just under 8.9 million members as at December 2016.

Discovery remains the largest medical aid scheme in the country, with over 2.7 million members.

This is followed by the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) with 1.8 million members, and the Bonitas Medical Fund, with just under 680,000 members.

Due to the nature of medical aids, and how each scheme is structured to cater for different hospital networks and cover different medical needs, it’s incredibly difficult to compare like for like, especially on price.

However, with all medical aids now releasing their contribution structures for 2018, the tables below outline the price changes among the biggest* (open) schemes for next year.

The biggest medical aid schemes in South Africa

Scheme Members
Discovery 2 707 000
GEMS 1 801 000
Bonitas 676 785
PolMed 497 130
Momentum Health 257 370
BankMed 214 305
BestMed 200 400
MediHelp 195 860
MedShield 153 415
LA-Health 147 780

For 2018, medical aids have mostly kept their rate increases within range of the medical aid industry inflation rate (inflation plus 3%), with few plans going over the 9% estimate.

Discovery’s rates have been hiked at an average of 7.9%, and Bonitas at an average of 8.7%.

Momentum Health is yet to publish its pricing for 2018, but has announced that prices for its medical aid plans will be hiked by an average of 8.3% in 2018.

In 2017, medical aids were forced to hike rates by over 10%, following a rise in medical costs and an increase in the number of fraudulent claims.

Over the past decade and half, the average year-on-year increase of medical scheme contributions has been 7.6% – almost 2 percentage points higher than CPI, on the basis of rising medical costs.

Discovery

Scheme 2017 Cost for principle member 2018 Cost for principle member Change
Executive R5 544 R5 950 7.3%
Classic Comprehensive R4 506 R4 882 8.3%
Essential Comprehensive R3 787 R4 102 8.3%
Classic Priority R2 968 R3 214 8.3%
Essential Priority R2 551 R2 763 8.3%
Classic Saver R2 577 R2 773 7.6%
Essential Saver R2 047 R2 203 7.6%
Classic Smart R1 535 R1 647 7.3%
Essential Smart R1 100 R1 180 7.3%
Classic Core R1 918 R2 064 7.6%
Essential Core R1 648 R1 773 7.6%
KeyCare Plus R914 – R1 906 R990 – R2 064 8.3%
KeyCare Access R644 – R1 863 R697 – R2 018 8.3%
KeyCare Core R731 – R1 408 R792 – R1 525 8.3%

Bonitas

Scheme 2017 Cost for principle member 2018 Cost for principle member Change
BonComprehensive R 5 254 R5 774 9.9%
BonClassic R3 648 R4 009 9.9%
BonComplete R2 923 R3 212 9.9%
BonSave R2 135 R2 304 7.9%
BonFit R1 789 R1 930 7.9%
BonEssential R1 473 R1 604 8.9%
Standard R2 998 R3 265 8.9%
Standard Select R2 597 R2 828 8.9%
Primary R1 924 R2 076 7.9%
Hospital Plus R2 636 R2 897 9.9%
Hospital Standard R1 665 R1 830 9.9%

BestMed

Scheme 2017 Cost for principle member 2018 Cost for principle member Change
Pace 4 R6 096 R6 608 8.4%
Pace 3 R5 097 R5 370 5.4%
Pace 2 R4 315 R4 667 8.2%
Pace 1 R3 055 R3 312 8.4%
Pulse 2 R4 365 R4 732 8.4%
Pulse 1 R1 823 R1 976 8.4%
Beat 4 R3 618 R3 922 8.4%
Beat 3 R2 359 R2 558 8.4%
Beat 2 R1 554 R1 685 8.4%
Beat 1 R1 257 R1 363 8.4%

MediHelp

Scheme 2017 Cost for principle member 2018 Cost for principle member Change
Dimension Elite R3972 R4272 7.6%
Dimension Prime 3 R2730 R2940 7.7%
Dimension Prime 2 R2136 R2310 8.1%
Dimension Prime 1 R1608 R1728 7.5%
Unify R1944 R2088 7.4%
Necesse R438 – R1932 R474 – R2076 7.4% – 8.2%

* At the time this article was written, Momentum Health was yet to release its prices for 2018.

Article credit: https://businesstech.co.za/news/finance/205466/the-biggest-medical-aid-schemes-in-south-africa-and-how-much-theyre-charging-in-2018/