Who qualifies as a dependant on a medical scheme?
In terms of the Medical Schemes Act, no medical scheme may refuse to admit persons who are dependent on the member. Dependants of a member is his/her spouse or partner; children under the age of 21, or children older than age 21 dependent upon the member due to a mental or physical disability, or still financially dependant on the member; immediate family in respect of whom the member is legally liable for family care and support, and such other persons who are recognised by the scheme as dependants. Immediate family is classified as the mother or father of the member. The scheme concerned may require proof of such financial dependency and appropriate additional contributions in respect of such extended cover must be expected.
You may not register family members over 21 who are not financially dependent on you. Schemes can charge an adult dependant the rate usually paid by a principal member.
Susan Erasmus is a freelance writer for Health24.