Finding the right medical aid scheme is a lot like dating on Tinder.
It feels like all they want to do is screw you, they don’t want to pay for the things you want, they send unsolicited communication, and even if you do settle down with one, it’s often not quite right.
Consulta has published its latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for the local medical aid industry and, by the look of things, a lot of them get the same complaints.
The SAcsi looks at the overall level of satisfaction of customers of South Africa’s medical scheme providers, and for the 2019 ranking, 1,707 medical scheme members were polled across five of the leading schemes by membership numbers – specifically Bonitas, Discovery, GEMS, Medihelp and Momentum.
Customers of all medical schemes polled in the 2019 Index indicated that they do not believe that the premiums paid match the quality of cover and experience on offer, Consulta said.
“Across the board, the industry is struggling to meet the needs of customers in terms of benefit design that meets the needs of customers in a simple and transparent manner.”
Here’s the graph that sums it all up:
None of the medical schemes ranked came out on top as a clear leader in this year’s index. Bonitas and Discovery were neck and neck for first.
Medical schemes are facing huge pressure in a low growth market where customer expectations and utilisation are very high and rising, while loyalty is on the decline as a result of lower price tolerance, it said.
“As the economy bites and more consumers opt to downgrade their cover to lower benefit options in a bid to cut costs, they are not realigning their ‘consumption-based’ expectations and are struggling to decipher the complexity of benefit options and scheme rules.”
Another thing that’s really getting the consumer down is what Adré Schreuder, SAcsi founder and chairperson, is calling “grudge purchases”.
Another point of contention is the fact that annual private healthcare increases have been well above, if not double inflation, for more than two decades which has steadily eroded the benefits that consumers can afford, with many forking out as much as 20% of their monthly income for medical aid.
…“While consumers accept that they need and want medical aid cover given the parlous state of public healthcare, it’s still a significant grudge purchase until needed,” he said.
I know I die a little inside, every time my medical scheme debits my account.
It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
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