After realising we would pay R1 500 less per month on our premiums if we selected a medical scheme option that did not cover my son’s R900-per-month chronic medication, it was a no-brainer to make the change.
On that calculation alone, we save around R600 per month.
However, we also face the challenge that each year we run out of funds by about July – and that was when my son’s medication came out of the chronic cover and not out of our day-to-day savings. If we used our day-to-day savings to cover his medication, we would run out even sooner.
So, we have implemented a dual strategy of savings and rewards to make our medical savings funds last the whole year.
SUPPLEMENTING MEDICAL SAVINGS
We have taken R1 000 of our premium saving and added that to a separate medical savings account. As Momentum is our medical scheme provider, we are using the Momentum HealthSaver account that earns interest and that we can use for any healthrelated expenses.
If your scheme does not offer such a product, then you can open a savings account linked to your bank account that is earmarked for medical expenses.
By using our reward programmes, we can earn an additional R11 940 per year to fund medical costs.
We have signed up with the medical scheme reward programme.
Multiply Premier costs us R265 per month for the whole family, but because my husband and I are active, we can easily earn up to a total of R1 200 per month back in cash, which is paid straight into our HealthSaver account. We each earned R600 at the end of January by having had 16 active days.
This means each time I go for a run, I earn R40. After deducting the monthly subscription fee, we still earn a net R935 per month that we can put towards covering medical expenses.
Our Clicks rewards also go to covering medicine costs. We receive cash-back points when we shop at Clicks, as well as additional points when we fill up at a Shell garage.
Between Clicks and Shell we earn around R60 in cash back each month – or R720 in a year.
Based on this strategy, we will be spending R235 less per month than we did last year. The difference is that the funds will last the whole year and we shouldn’t experience any out-the-pocket expenses.
We may even find that the reward programmes are sufficient to cover our medical expenses without supplementing with additional savings, but those additional savings are good to build up for any uncovered emergencies or to cover future health-cost increases.