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Published on May 28th, 2018 | by Jones

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Do young professionals need a medical aid?

With the stresses of work building up and the bills that need to be paid, young professionals have a lot on their plate. . However, there is one aspect of being in the working world that you cannot afford to ignore, and that is having a medical aid in South Africa. Not having a medical aid can lead to situations going from bad to worse if you are involved in an accident or contract a serious illness, so read on for more reasons why young professionals need a medical aid.

Health crises may arise

Despite being young, fit and healthy, you are not usually able to see what is around the corner healthwise. You may find that you have a cardiovascular disease or are experiencing other ‘dread diseases’ such as obesity, diabetes and certain cancers.

The right cover on either an expensive or cheap medical aid means that these health crises are covered. The rising costs of treating dread disease and other illnesses means that as a young professional, you may be unable to afford to pay for medication or treatment out of your own pocket. An unseen health crisis could destroy your savings, meaning that you have to try to deal with a health problem and debt at the same time, which is highly stressful.

Late joiner fees

Yes, you read correctly. There are fees for joining a medical aid too late. These fees are not a once off, but are added to your monthly contributions and can be as much as half of your contribution amount.

It is better to join while you are still young and flourishing in your professional career, rather than when you are older and reaching retirement age. The fees can sometimes reach up to 75 percent of the contribution, a hefty price to pay for being undecided about joining a medical aid. These penalties are much less when you are younger, and joining a medical aid earlier on can save you money in the long run of not having to pay exorbitant monthly contributions.

It can help to manage your wellness

Some of today’s medical aid schemes offer incentives to remain healthy, while others have apps that you can download to measure how healthy you have been throughout the week. These types of innovations enable you to live a healthier life, meaning that you will not be using your medical aid as much.

Managing your health and wellness is important as a young professional, as you need to be on top of your game and ahead of the curve in order to succeed in your industry. You cannot do this if you are stressed out, eating unhealthy foods or not exercising enough. Medical aid plans are ideal for young professionals as the incentive plans allow you to remain healthy, while earning rewards and enjoying life at the same time.

They pay for other health care needs

If you do a medical aid comparison, you will find that many are similar in their offerings, in that many offer day-to-day GP visits, medications, dentistry, nursing, surgery and eye-care. These costs can become exorbitant if you do not have any medical coverage.

As someone who is young and relatively healthy, this coverage may not seem necessary. However, it is important to have all of your bases covered for every eventuality, especially if you are planning on having children at some stage of your life. Daily doctor’s visits can come in handy in inclement weather when the flu season starts, so you can avoid the virus and continue working. You may also need chronic medication, which can be costly. It is important to remember that you may be required to pay a ‘co-payment’ depending on your medical aid scheme.

Dread diseases are biting at young heels

Today’s obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease and stroke rates have risen significantly over the years, especially in the younger generation. This means that relying on the ‘healthy’ status that comes with youth is no longer enough.

The risk factors as older people have contributed to these dread diseases rates skyrocketing: bad eating habits, smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle are the causes of these health problems. Having a medical aid at a young age means that young professionals will be able to contribute less to medical schemes in their middle to retirement age. You will save yourself from becoming chronically ill and form having to pay too much as you retire.

You need a medical aid in order to care for yourself, and it is a sound financial investment too. If you simply rely on your ‘young, fit and healthy’ status, you will soon find that later on in life, you pay higher monthly contributions and are not as healthy as you could have been if your health engagement did not start early in life.

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