Affordability and low increases are driving factors for most families choosing a medical scheme. A good track record and sound corporate governance are also rated highly, especially among 25 to 29 year olds in the R15000 to R20 000 a month earning bracket.
This emerged in an email survey undertaken among 1 257 successful applicants who had approached Selfmed Medical Scheme via its website between November 2009 and January this year. What also emerged is that by far the majority of decision makers with regards to family medical aid cover are female - about 54% compared with about 36% of their male counterparts within the family unit. The balance was influenced by the likes of employers or brokers.
The respondents ranged across a broad spectrum of income earners between R7 000 and R40 000 plus and were pretty evenly split between English and Afrikaans speakers. The greatest number was between 25 and 29 years of age and between 35 and 39 years of age. They were also representative of a range of family segments from a member and spouse to members with children and dependents.
Interestingly, a percentage across the board indicated that they tend to research medical aids, what they offer and their track records mostly in the second quarter of the year.
Although 'affordable cover for my whole family', 'a scheme with a good track record/corporate governance' and 'a scheme with low annual price increases' were the three main reasons given for choosing Selfmed, reserve levels and 'a better chronic medicine plan' also featured strongly.
Marthie Bester, marketing director at Selfmed, says, "The responses were affirming of our commitment to offering quality healthcare at affordable rates and that we are able to satisfy those who value good governance. It is also immensely reassuring to find how seriously the 25 to 39 year olds are taking medical aid. Theirs is obviously not a grudge commitment but rather a strategic decision to protect their families."
(Selfmed, May 2010)