Presented by Momentum Health

Uptake in low-cost health insurance calls for the healthcare industry to do more to provide affordable health insurance

 ·31 May 2022

Written by Damian McHugh

A steady increase in the uptake of Momentum Health Solutions’ market-leading affordable health insurance solution, Momentum Health4Me, is an indication that there is a critical need for cost-effective and adaptable healthcare solutions.

As providers of healthcare solutions, the onus is on us to find ways of offering affordable private healthcare to millions of uninsured South Africans.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt our economy a heavy blow, with consumers still reeling from its impact.

The Russia-Ukraine war, if it continues unabated, will have a ripple effect on developing economies, including ours.

This will, in turn, add further strain on an already embattled consumer in the form of soaring inflation, including rising oil and food prices.

Now more than ever, the turbulent economic conditions we find ourselves in call for affordable healthcare solutions that are cost-effective and flexible that will ensure that millions of South Africans who cannot afford private medical aid cover can gain access to quality private healthcare.

This need is evident in the number of people who are joining our Momentum Health4Me solution.

Momentum Health4Me is an affordable healthcare solution aimed at providing flexibility for consumers to pay for what they can afford and change between options as their needs and income evolve.

The steady increase in the uptake of Momentum Health4Me has, in fact, seen us increase membership by more than 12% in the last two years.

These numbers confirm that there is a great need for low-cost private healthcare in the country, while there has been no significant growth in the medical scheme market over the same period.

Affordability is critical if we are going to shift the needle in terms of contributing towards making a real impact on the lives of millions of South Africans who have no private healthcare cover at present.

While we fully support the initiative by government to introduce National Health Insurance (NHI) as a mechanism to improve access to quality and comprehensive healthcare services for all South Africans, we believe that providers of private healthcare also have a significant role to play.

In fact, it is our view that the implementation of this bold undertaking by Government can only succeed if critical stakeholders in both the public and private healthcare sectors co-operate and commit to working together, instead of against each other.

As the country’s healthcare landscape has been biased to favour the few that could afford access to the levels of professionalism, advanced technology and equipment that is provided by the private sector, we acknowledge that the introduction of NHI is critical to the envisaged reform of our healthcare framework.

In our view, the NHI initially could cater for the unemployed, while private sector players could focus on providing low-cost health insurance and low income medical scheme options for the employed but uninsured South Africans.

It is against this very backdrop that Momentum Health4Me was designed, which in essence eliminates wastage in the form of over-spending and under-utilisation for members.

Medical schemes are usually designed in a way that enables consumers to access more by buying up or paying for more and, in some instances, that translates into consumers paying for products and services they don’t necessarily need.

Our healthcare solutions enable clients to pay for what they need or what they can afford.

Additionally, some of our solutions go as far as unlocking cash or vouchers for our members to use when they need it most by, among others, earning grocery shopping vouchers.

Medical scheme cover should make provision for a measure of flexibility as a member’s circumstances change.

The devastating impact of COVID-19 across the globe, as medical personnel and facilities battled to provide the best care under the most difficult conditions, has underscored that health insurance membership is not an optional “nice to have”.

While we are waiting for the finalisation and implementation of the proposed NHI, individual South Africans will have to continue to make important decisions and choices about healthcare cover, for the immediate future.

Medical scheme providers should be at the forefront of designing low-cost solutions that would contribute towards ensuring that all South Africans have access to quality and comprehensive private healthcare.

You can read more about Momentum Health4Me here.

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