No, you can apply to become a member of any medical aid directly to the scheme. Some schemes don’t work with medical aid brokers at all.
How much does a medical aid broker cost?
A broker does not cost you, the member, anything. Your premiums do not increase if you have a broker, and the scheme pays the broker directly.
The Medical Aid Act dictates the maximum amount that a broker can be paid: 3% of the premium, or R81, whichever is lower. This is a monthly payment that the broker receives from the scheme.
What are the advantages of having a medical aid broker?
A good broker will become familiar with your personal medical needs, and will advise you accordingly on the best plan for you. He or she can also liaison with the schemes on your behalf, and can explain benefits to you clearly.
Brokers contract to certain medical aids only. We have not come across any broker who represents all the schemes. That means that even if a broker is very familiar with your personal medical needs, he might not represent the scheme that is best suited for your needs. A broker might also be swayed by financial incentives from the schemes when recommending a plan to you.
It is always in your best interests to put the responsibility of your healthcare in your own hands, and to get assistance and support directly from the scheme or from a broker if you have one.