The Insurance industry in South Africa is an ever-increasing industry, with new insurance companies appearing all the time, even other business have now jumped on the band wagon to offer insurance such as major food chains. Amongst all the different types of insurances that one finds here, such as car, household, life, travel and a myriad of others, I want to particularly speak about health insurance in South Africa and what the current state and trends are at this moment.
A larger percentage of the South African population is underprivileged or are in the lower income bracket with a leaser percentage of the population in the middle to higher income brackets. As a result many people have to rely on the public health care system, which is over-used and under-financed. Because of a lack of funding and inadequate services many middle to higher income earners have to take out private health insurance from private companies. The private health care system is ever increasing as more and more people come to rely on it, a total of 18 percent of the population rely on medical aid schemes.
South Africa has had major challenges in the health care sector over the past decade with sharply rising medical costs. As a result insurance providers had to get crafty by creating insurance schemes that could be afforded by the general public. Medical aid schemes have been on the increase too with major health insurer being Discovery Health with 1.5 million members. As I mentioned before there are many insurers offering medical insurance and medical aid schemes in South Africa and it is important to shop around and look for one that suits your needs. It is also very important that you read ALL the fine print, as many health insurance providers will do anything to not have to settle a claim, this goes for insurance providers in South Africa and the rest of the world.
South Africa is also seeing an increase in interest from foreign insurance companies, offering normal cover for all and also some special policies for expatriates. These special policies can include transporting the deceased via aeroplane back to their home country. The cost of international insurance cover can vary quite a lot depending on the type of cover and the age of the insured.