Best and worst medical aid schemes in South Africa – with prices

 ·22 Sep 2016

With Discovery Health announcing an average increase in premiums of 10.2% in 2017, it is bound to force many South Africans to look more closely at their medical aid cover.

Discovery Health claims a 54% share of South Africa’s medical aid market, with close on three million customers.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it will be increasing its premiums by between 7.8% and 14.9% across its various schemes from January 2017. The average increase of 10.2% is significantly higher than the 8.6% increase in 2016, and much higher than the CPI forecast of 6.8%.

According to Discovery, the increase is due to a larger number of claims in 2016 than in previous years. Global Credit Ratings has warned that other medical aids will likely follow suit with similar increases.

Other medical aids are expected to announce their price hikes in the coming weeks – with some planning hikes even larger than Discovery’s.

Comparing medical aid schemes is notoriously difficult, as each medical aid provider has a wide array of options, each with its own benefits, terms and limits, making like-on-like comparisons near impossible.

However, one area which speaks to consumers is price, and comparison data drawn up by medical aid brokers, Informed Healthcare Solutions, does an excellent job breaking down medical aid options from major providers, across five main categories.

For a full breakdown of medical aid schemes by each provider, and each category, as well as a detailed comparison of the services you are offered, check out the listings at

These are the cheapest and most affordable medical aid schemes from 7 insurers, across all 5 categories in South Africa: hospital plans, hospital plans with savings, day-to-day cover, GP networks plans, and comprehensive coverage.

For more comparisons, including other medical aids, which take into account full year costs, factoring in macro and micro comparisons of each scheme, check out our previous coverage of the GTC Medical Aid Survey for 2016.

Note: the prices below refer to 2016 prices, and relate to the cost of the principle member only. Other costs for dependents are listed in the full breakdown

Hospital Plans

Hospital plans cover hosptial services used when admitted, typically including anesthetist and surgeon fees. According to IHS, hospitals usually have agreed rates with medical aids, with bills being paid in full.

Scheme Cost for principle member
Discovery Health Keycare Core R665 – R1 281
Genesis Private Choice R950
Momentum Custom Option 1 R1 152
FedHealth Entryzone R1 179
Discovery Health Essential Delta Core R1 190
Discovery Health Coastal Core R1 302
Bonitas BonEssential R1 316
Resolution Health Hospital Plan R1 375
Discovery Health Smart Plan R1 397
Genesis Private R1 420
MediHelp Dimension Prime 1 R1 452
Discovery Health Essential Core R1 499
Momentum Custom Option 2 R1 557
FedHealth Maxima Core R1 695
Discovery Health Classic Core R1 745

Hospital Plan with Savings

These plans are the same as the above, but provide members with a limited savings account for day-to-day use.

Scheme Cost for principle member
MediHelp Unify R1 752
Genesis Private Plus R1 800
Discovery Health Essential Saver R1 862
Discovery Health Coastal Saver R1 862
Discovery Health Classic Delta Saver R1 872
Bonitas BonSave R1 908
MediHelp Dimension Prime 2 R1 926
MedShield MediSaver R2 343
Discovery Health Classic Saver R2 344
FedHealth Maxima Standard R2 693
Momentum Extender Option 1 R3 303
Resolution Health Millenium R3 592
Momentum Extender Option 2 R4 061

Hospital Plans with Day to Day Cover

These plans are the same as the above, but typically come with annual limits for day-to-day use, which fall away and are renewed at the end of each year.

Scheme Cost for principle member
MedShield MediValue R1 392
Momentum Incentive Option R1 524
Momentum Access Option R1 693
Bonitas Primary R1 719
Resolution Health Progressive Flex R1 910
FedHealth Maxima Basis R2 223
Momentum Incentive Option R2 228
MedShield MediPlus R2 325
FedHealth Maxima Standard R2 693
Bonitas Standard R2 683

GP Network Plan

These plans are typically designed for younger members entering the market for the first time, IHS said. Medical aids work with specific doctors frequented by members. The scheme prices vary depending on income.

Scheme Cost for principle member
MediHelp Necce (Full-time students) R396
Momentum Ingwe Option (State network) R510 – R1 138
Discovery Health Keycare Access R586 – R1 695
Momentum Ingwe Option (Ingwe network) R638 – R1 133
Momentum Ingwe Option (Any) R829 – R2 029
Discovery Health Keycare Plus R832 – R 1 734
MediHelp Necce R1 266 – R1 740

Comprehensive Medical Aid

These are the top-tier schemes that typically have unlimited hospital cover, and comprehensive day-to-day benefits.

Scheme Cost for principle member
Genisis Private Comprehensive R2 175
FedHealth Maxima Standard R2 693
Discovery Health Classic Priority R2 700
Momentum Extender Option 1 R3 303
Resolution Health Millenium R3 592
FedHealth Maxima Executive R3 639
Discovery Health Classic Delta Comprehensive R3 626
Resolution Health Supreme R3 907
Discovery Health Classic Comprehensive R4 026
Momentum Extender Option 2 R4 061

More on medical aids

Massive increase for Discovery medical aid premiums in 2017

The astonishing number of South Africans who do not have medical aid

South Africans rank the best and worst medical aid schemes

Best and worst medical aids in South Africa

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