Bestmed Medical Scheme launches entry level income-based plan

The need for affordable, quality medical aid in South Africa has come into sharp focus, with consumers feeling the pinch following a rise in inflation and petrol price for 2022, in addition to continuing debate around universal health coverage and the National Health Insurance Bill. 

In fact, according to the Council for Medical Schemes’ (CMS) recent annual report, medical schemes have not experienced any significant membership growth in the last decade, with total medical aid membership remaining stagnant just below the nine million mark for a number of years now.

“Economic instability, not to mention a lack of affordable medical aid plan options currently available in South Africa, has left many people – particularly the low-income group and those who have just entered the workforce – with no option but to forgo medical aid until they are able to afford it,” says Bestmed Medical Scheme’s Executive Manager: Marketing and Sales, Madelein Barkhuizen. 

Barkhuizen adds that this is the main reason why many consumers convince themselves that they do not need medical cover, leaving them open to potential debt due to medical cost in the event that they do happen to require hospital stays. 

“Taking into consideration the financial constraints consumers face and the growing need for quality healthcare for all South Africans, Bestmed Medical Scheme is proud to introduce the Rhythm range. This new range is suitable for members seeking an entry level income-based plan for both in- and out-of-hospital benefits with Designated Service Providers within our Rhythm network,” says Barkhuizen.

Consisting of two options – Rhythm1 and Rhythm2 – the plans offer unlimited GP visits, access to basic and preventative dentistry and access to Bestmed’s comprehensive Maternity care programme. Both plans also cover up to 42 different chronic conditions and offer unlimited benefits for Rhythm acute medicine on the formulary list. Members also get access to Bestmed’s Tempo wellness programme, which offers health assessments, visits to dietitians and biokineticists at no extra charge. 

On the new Rhythm1 option, members earning under R9,000 per month will have access to a plan for as low as R1,200, and child dependants will be covered until they are 24 years of age or 26 if they are registered students for as low as R495 per month. Benefits include cover for a prescribed list of in-hospital treatments, unlimited consultations with family practitioners and nurses who form part of the designated service providers network and preventative care benefits such as free vaccines, contraceptives and immunisations for children.  The plan includes access to maternity care benefits.  

“People increasingly opt for medical aid that is more inclusive and accessible, and that is designed with them in mind.  We’re pleased to be able to offer more South Africans access to quality, affordable healthcare through the Rhythm network range because no one should have to forgo a potentially life-saving essential like medical aid because they cannot afford it,” concludes Barkhuizen.

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