Health Insurance in South Africa: All You Need to Know

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For those who want to know some basic relevant info about health insurance in South Africa, then this can be very useful for you in the long run.

What is health insurance?

Basically, health insurance is a way to pay for healthcare. This payment protects a subscriber from paying the full cost of medical services when they are sick or injured. Just like a car or home insurance, one selects a plan, pay the correlating monthly fee and the health issuer agrees to pay a portion of a subscribers medical cost. They basically negotiate the doctors and hospitals.

What about health insurance in South Africa?

Health insurance in South Africa is handled by the South African National Health Insurance (NHI) which is planned to attract more resources to the health care sector and improve the access, resources, and utilization of healthcare services.

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The National Health Insurance (NHI) is a health financing system that is designed to pool funds to provide access to quality affordable personal health services for all South Africans based on their health needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status. NHI is intended to ensure that the use of health services does not result in financial hardship for individuals and their families.

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NHI seeks to realise universal health coverage for all South Africans. This means that every South African will have a right to access comprehensive healthcare services free of charge at the point of use at accredited health facilities such as clinics, hospitals and private health practitioners. This will be done using an NHI card. The services will be delivered closest to where people live or work.

NHI is being implemented in phases over a 14-year period that started in 2012. It will be established through the creation of a single fund that will buy services on behalf of the entire population, The funding for NHI will be through a combination of various mandatory pre-payment sources, primarily based on general taxes.

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The reforms are set to take over a decade to fully come to fruition, with refining work still underway from a White Paper released by the Health Minister in 2015.

What healthcare services will be funded by NHI?

The NHI will offer all South Africans and legal residents access to a defined package of comprehensive health services. The state is committed to offering as wide a range of services as possible.

Reference:

Gov.co.za

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