It may be tempting to hold back some of your health information when applying for medical aid membership but this could cost you dearly in the long run.
It could even impact on life and death situations warns Marthie Bester marketing director at Selfmed, "Full disclosure of a pre-existing condition is really important especially if one needs any medication or pre-authorisation for a hospital procedure within the first 12 months of your membership with a scheme . Your medical aid cannot give you the support you need to ensure quality healthcare if it doesn’t have all the facts at hand."
To complete an application form and to answer the health section in full is the most important part of the process to become a member of a medical scheme.
She explains that a pre-existing condition is one that a prospective member has been diagnosed with and where treatment has been advised by a medical practitioner within one year prior to the membership application. Medical membership works the same as motor vehicle insurance. A person will not first have the accident and then insure the car. The same applies with medical scheme membership; one cannot be aware of an illness and then quickly apply for medical scheme membership to have cover.
Bester also reminds prospective new members, if joining a scheme for the first time, or if one joins a scheme without having been a member of one in the past 90 days, a scheme may apply what is known as a general waiting period of three months. This means you cannot claim for any medical treatment you have during those first three months.
"It's all about protecting the interests of a membership pool," she adds and to be honest will pay in the long run.
(Selfmed, March 2010)