• Medical aid contributions at major schemes are jumping by around 10% this year.
  • We compared the entry-level medical aid options from the biggest players in South Africa.
  • Discovery has the cheapest offer for a no-frills medical aid, but that option is open only to people earning below R9,150. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

South Africa’s three largest medical schemes, Discovery, Bonitas, and Momentum, have all announced contribution increases well above inflation for 2020. 

Discovery, the country’s largest medical aid representing nearly half the market, increased fees by an average of 9.5% after increasing fees by 9.2% for 2019. 

Bonitas, the second largest medical scheme in South Africa, increased fees by an average of 9.9%, and Momentum by 8.2% – the lowest of the three, but still well above the general rate of inflation. 

Also read: You’ll soon be able to get a free iPhone 11 and Apple Watch from Discovery Bank. Here’s what we know.

Business Insider South Africa compared the prices of the entry-level medical aids in South Africa after the increases.

By law medical aids in South Africa are not for profit membership schemes, even though they can be administered by for-profit companies. Though they can set their own benefits, which can differ substantially between schemes and different options within schemes, all must provide members with a set prescribed minimum benefits without the need for any co-payments. 

Most medical schemes in South Africa offer options below R1,500 per member per month, but those are often limited to participants earning below a certain threshold. 

This is how entry-level medical scheme prices compare, for a single member earning R8,500 per month or less: 

The Discovery Key Care plan is the cheapest entry-level medical aid among major providers in South Africa, at R914 per month – but prices quickly jump to R1,412 if an individual earns above R9,150. 

The plan only includes hospital cover for a set group of hospitals.

The second cheapest plan was Momentum’s Ingwe option for R1,062, which also only includes cover for Ingwe network hospitals. 

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