BesttMed is perhaps not a medical aid that everyone has heard of, even though they have, in actual fact, been around for 50 years now. The lack of big name recognition does not mean that this is an inferior scheme though and in fact more than 70,000 South Africans are currently enrolled in one of their plans.
For the last decade BestMed has been self-administered, overseen by a Board of Trustees made up of actual members, something that does give patients more of a voice in many ways than if it were an executive only company. At the same time however the executives have keep the company in decent financial shape, reporting a 31.3% solvency in 2014 that is well above the legal minimum of 25%.
BestMed Medical Aid - Basic Medical Aid Options
In an industry that is becoming increasingly complex to navigate as more and more players become involved BestMed have kept their basic medical aid coverage packages pretty simple. They offer three basic product ranges, Beat, Pulse and Pace and then there are further 'customizations' available within each package.
Beat, the lowest priced of the options is designed for the younger, healthier person looking for good hospital cover but with minimal out of hospital benefits. Pulse is best for families with average medical needs and Pace is designed for those with larger out of hospital needs for whom regular GP visits are a must, for example, those with a chronic condition that needs to be monitored on a regular basis.
Premiums for all of the plans are adjustable according to income and family size. When choosing a plan, and then a plan level, which will adjust the exact amounts of coverage available, the BestMed website features an interactive comparison tool which allows you to compare your options side by side on a line by line, service by service basis. This does make seeing exactly what you would be getting a great deal clearer and most people should find it rather helpful.
BestMed Medical Aid - Special Programmes
Members of all plan levels also gain access to the Healthcheck Wellness programme. This program is designed to reduce your medical costs - and of course improve your health - via preventative measures. The tools on offer include invitations to company sponsored health testing days, various gym discounts, access to a 'wellness' library of articles and advice and a 24 hour basic helpline staffed by medical professionals to answer specific health questions. It's also worth noting that innovative pneumonia prevention and contraception programmes have recently been launched that offer benefits that many other medical aid schemes do not.
BestMed Medical Aid - Extras
The ease- and the speed - of the claims submission and payment process is something that most people are quite rightly concerned about when choosing a medical aid plan. In 2014 BestMed reported that they paid 99.2% of the claims submitted to them within 15 days, which is rather a good track record. Claims can be submitted via telephone (a rep will walk you through the process) or via email form if you prefer.