“In 2022, Medihelp Medical Aid reaped the benefits of absorbing contribution increases and introducing an overall weighted average premium reduction as well as significant enhancements, by outperforming the growth and retention results of the past few years, now sitting comfortably at 200 000 lives and over 5% net growth for the year thus far”, said Ettie da Silva, Principal Officer of Medihelp, at the introduction of the Scheme’s offering for 2023.
She explained that during the last quarter of 2021 and the first half of this year, Medihelp saw an increase in the cost of care, with utilisation normalising and returning to pre-COVID-19 trends.
This presents a very different picture to that of the past two years, when reserve build-up brought about by lower utilisation resulted in very low contribution adjustments in the industry. South Africa’s annual inflation rate is also running higher than what it has been in years and healthcare inflation is sitting at 3-4% above inflation, with new technology, the industry’s aging population, and the increasing cost of care, driving it.
Medihelp has taken all these factors into consideration in designing and pricing our products for 2023. The intent with the 2023 adjustments is to maintain the positioning we’ve achieved with last year’s competitive pricing strategy, but also to implement adjustments that are responsible. Medihelp will again use reserves to absorb adjustments and help ease the financial burden on members, with an effect of minus 1,54%, resulting in a weighted average premium adjustment of 7,51% which will ensure that the Medihelp value experience remains intact, without compromising sustainability.
The premiums of Medihelp’s plans will adjust by on average 7,51%. When considering Medihelp’s contribution adjustments for 2023, it is important to keep in mind that the price reductions implemented for Medihelp’s growth options in 2022 will leave more than half of Medihelp’s members still paying a lower or the same premium than in 2021. Given the excellent profile and financial performance of MedMove! in 2022, this option – the latest addition to Medihelp’s product range – will have a price reduction of 13,64% for next year, resulting in a premium of only R1 254 per month and saving existing members R2 376 in premiums next year.
The contribution increases across all options are summarised as follows: The monthly contributions of the vital and savings plans will adjust by 7,5%, except for MedMove! which will have a premium reduction of more than 13,64%, while monthly contributions for MedElite and MedPlus will increase by 8,5%.
The premium structure of Medihelp’s plans will remain unchanged for next year, and families will continue to benefit from paying for only two children under 18 years on MedVital, MedAdd and MedPrime. Child dependant rates will also continue to apply to child dependants until they reach the age of 26 years on most of Medihelp’s plans.
For 2023, benefit amounts will increase by on average 5% on all plans. Only minor changes have been implemented for 2023, with a post-hospital care benefit that has been added to MedMove! and MedElect. Access to post-hospital care can play a pivotal role in avoiding re-admissions after hospitalisation. The benefit provides for physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy and will be the same across all Medihelp plans in 2023.
Medihelp, as a self-administered medical aid with 117 years’ experience, will continue to focus on its core intent by offering 12 product choices in 2023 that are tailored to fit all generations and their pockets, and providing benefits that meet members’ needs in each life stage.
On offer will be –
- Four vital options that deliver cover for students, first-time employees, and the young and healthy seeking quality medical cover without the expensive price tag,
- Three savings plans, created for young families and those who prefer the flexibility of choice that these options bring, and
- Five comprehensive plans, with contributions designed for larger families and benefits for more advanced healthcare needs.