If you are on any form of medical aid or medical insurance product, there are waiting periods built into your policy which will restrict your ability to claim from your hospital plan for certain periods of time. Waiting Periods have been around since the dawn of the insurance industry and are too often overlooked when deciding on the most suitable hospital cover in South Africa for your family.
It’s vital you know where you stand when taking out cover. Understanding waiting periods better ensures that you’re not on the receiving end of a nasty shock during the early days
of your hospital plan. Know what you’re signing up for in advance. Read on as we unravel the essentials.
Know your various Waiting Period Restrictions before you sign up
Waiting Periods in the medical aid and health insurance marketplace are defined as “the periods of time which must pass before some, or all of your health benefits can take effect” (Source) When assessing which SA hospital plan is right for you and your family, firstly take into account what the general waiting period of the policy is – ie the initial period of time that must pass from when you sign up, until you can legitimately claim for hospitalization benefits. It usually varies between 1 and 3 calendar months depending on the provider. The exception to this exclusion is Accident or Trauma Benefit, which has immediate cover. Pre-Existing Conditions are also tied into a hospital plan policy with exclusions normally enforced for the first 12 months of the policy.
A Guide to Waiting Period Timeframes for Day 1 Health Hospital Plans
General Waiting Period – 3 Calendar Months (from inception of policy)
Pre-Existing Chronic Conditions 12 Calendar Months (for In-Hospital Illness Benefits)
Accident Benefit Immediate Cover
Accidental Permanent Disability Immediate Cover (Limited to a Single Event)
Don’t Wait until it’s too late to claim on your Hospital Plan
Regardless of what insurers tell you, or how many zeros are advertised in the range of benefits persuasively broadcasted on tv, radio, and digital, waiting periods are the reality which you have to factor in when signing up for a hospital plan in RSA. Study the Ts and Cs of a policy just as you would a cellphone contract or home bond. Day 1 Health offers one of the most generous waiting period concessions of any healthcare provider in RSA. Offering a range of tailored hospital plans, a comprehensive list of the most important elements of each plan is explained and answered on their Frequently Asked Questions page.
Make sure you know what you’re covered for, but more importantly, when each coverage type kicks in. Make an informed choice and Apply Online Today.