Sanlam is a very well established, and very well respected, South African insurance and financial advisory company that has been in business for over five decades. It's only relatively recently though that they branched out into the world of medical aids, but have done so in a way that is rather different to other companies in this very fast growing and competitive niche.
Sanlam Medical Aid Product Basics
The first thing you'll notice if you head to the Medical Aids section of the Sanlam website is that there is no list of policies to choose from, no benefit comparisons and in fact no medical aid policies offered directly by the company at all. There is an advisory service, a division of the company called Completemed that can act as an independent brokerage to help you find a medical aid plan offered by someone else, but no direct sale plans at all.
So why are we even writing about this? Because Sanlam do offer a somewhat unique set of Medical Aid Gap Policies that may prove rather beneficial to some.
What is a Medical Aid Gap Policy? Most people are aware of the fact - or become aware of the fact as they shop for one - that even the most expensive medical aid plans do not cover 100% of your medical expenses and in some cases it's nowhere near that. Enter the plans offered by Sanlam that are literally designed to fill those gaps, thus the name.
Plan Rates and Restrictions
There are two basic plans on offer - the Standard and the Comprehensive - and they cost R125 and R152 respectively monthly. The Standard offers coverage for many hospital services that are not covered under most medical aid plans in addition to a cash benefit paid for each day the policyholder is hospitalized. Comprehensive coverage also picks up doctor's copay fees and offers some extra coverage for dental and vision expenses.
Who would benefit most from this kind of coverage? Usually those who have a lot of medical expenses to contend with. A younger, healthy person is really unlikely to need this much additional coverage but a person managing a serious or chronic condition may find that they can significantly reduce their annual out of pocket expenses, making them well worth considering.
As the plans offered by Sanlam are not technically medical aid policies you are not going to be offered the 'perks' attached to some of them (gym discounts, pharmacy discounts etc.) But that is probably irrelevant as in order to buy a medical aid gap plan you will need to be enrolled in a medical aid plan anyway.
What is on offer, that may be of interest to some, are packages that 'bundle' the medical gap coverage with other Sanlam products such as vehicle, home and life insurance policies at discount rates.