Choosing and buying a medical aid plan is a royal pain in the butt. We know.
We have tried to take the frustrations and expectations of the member, of the broker, of the scheme and of the healthcare provider, and satisfy them in a comprehensive one-stop medical aid info site. That’s the Medical Aid Bible.
The old models
In a conventional medical aid model, you either sign up directly with the scheme, or you sign up through a broker. A broker makes 3% of your premium every month, capped at about R80. In return, he or she must stay on top of your healthcare needs, recommend new plans as necessary and take care of your admin. A broker is contracted to specific schemes (there are 21 open schemes) and will typically represent between 3 and 8 schemes. We have yet to meet a broker that represents all 21. Your medical aid choices are thus limited by your choice of broker.
There are also “aggregators” most of whom will take your online requests for medical aid quotes, and will sell those onto medical aids as “leads”. At this stage, neither the aggregator nor the scheme knows your real healthcare requirements, yet they will be “quoting” you. In addition, your details are notoriously sold to other service providers, like insurers. You end up being contacted by multiple call centers, repeatedly.
The whole medical aid industry is heavily regulated, but extremely non-transparent. It is almost defined by the confusion and frustration that it causes, and it was almost impossible to “get to the bottom” of what would and would not be paid for, and why.
We saw the obvious problems, and we have tried to address them through this site.
The first problem we are solving is the one of transparency. By putting all the plans in one place, and allowing them to be compared easily and quickly, we have added an unheard-of transparency to the industry. Trust us, making sense of just one plan is tough work. Making sense of two plans is tougher. But figuring out how the two compare on each benefit is near to impossible. Or, it was. Now, using this site, you can compare any two plans with a click of a button.
The second problem that we are solving, and that is closely aligned with the first, is one of control. As in, we are giving you control to access information that will have the best impact on your healthcare and your healthcare costs. This, shockingly, was impossible before the Medical Aid Bible came along, as there was no place, and no person, who could inform you of every option available to you. Even if you took the time to wade through a plan or two (and we hope you did!) it was impossible to assure yourself that you were as informed about options as you needed to be. In fact, it was a given that you were not. We have changed that. The information is now available, here on this site, and you just need to invest some time to work through it.
The third problem we are solving concerns closing the sale. Instead of calling one scheme and hoping for the best, or giving up your personal information and privacy in order to collect quotes, we hope we can help you narrow down your options to one or at most two schemes. We then connect you to those schemes, either directly or through a broker, and protect your contact details from hungry call centers.
Finally, the fourth problem is the one that might be most important: we are hoping to become a reliable source of information about the industry, the schemes, service providers and other players. We are opening up a channel of communication, via a forum, where you can share your experiences, and learn from others. We are trying to simplify the jargon, the terminology, and the admin. We intend to write regularly about how to save money on healthcare, how to get the most out of your medical aid, how to assess your plan. Most important, we want you to feel empowered with information so you are not bullied by the schemes or the providers.
We are neutral, self funded, and independent.
A scheme will pay us a modest fee per lead, knowing that the lead is qualified, informed and “hot”. A broker or a brokerage can do the same. In order for us to pass on the lead, we need your name, ID, and telephone number.
We also hope that you have played your part, and that you are indeed a “qualified lead” ie that you have been through the site, and you know more or less what you want.
As soon as you tell us what plan interests you, and you ask us to connect you with the scheme/broker, we will send you a document that summaries your chosen plan/scheme and points out that things you need to clarify with the scheme before signing anything.
Remember, we don’t sell plans. We would be indifferent as to which plan you choose, except for the fact that we want you to choose the best one for you.
Submitting your details
Thus, given all of the above, in order for you and us to get the most out of this site, we hope that at some point you will submit your contact details to us, and allow someone to call you to conclude a sign up process. We know that giving your contact details online is not fun, and we want to be fully transparent with you about how we use your details, and specifically how we use them to generate revenue that keeps the site going.
- We will always tell you what type of entity we are sharing your details with, before we collect any info from you. It will either be the scheme or a broker.
- We will never sell your details to another third party, for any purpose whatsoever.
- None of our partners are allowed to share your details with third parties either. If we put you in touch with a broker or scheme, and you have reason to believe that they compromised your data, please let us know immediately.
It ain’t perfect
We know. The site will continue to develop and grow, and will continue to adapt to fulfill the users’ needs. Nevertheless, if there are any obvious errors, or you want to offer suggestions advice or just have a question, please drop me a quick message. I really do want to hear from you.
To your good health,