May 27, 2021 Word for Word Media
Janette Rooney helps us understand when and why GAP cover is needed. GAP cover is equally as important as having a medical aid and the two products although purchased separately, go hand in hand. So, what is GAP cover? It is a cost-effective hospital shortfall insurance product that you can purchase together with your medical aid or thereafter. Medical aid costs continue to rise above that of the consumer price index (CPI). There are various valid reasons in SA, such as the cost of technological and medical advancements and the rand exchange rate, to name a few. However, the average South African is struggling to…

Jul 29, 2020 Word for Word Media
Why do some medicines cost so much but then others, such as some generics, cost so little? Elsabé Klinck educates us as to why this is so. Types of medicines Medicines are widely defined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act. This law defines a medicine as something that is used to diagnose, treat or prevent disease, or help with bodily functioning.  Medicines include:  Complementary medicines, such as supplements and vitamins. Alternative medicines, such as naturopathy, homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicines, many of which have a long history of cultural or traditional use. Allopathic medicines, such as the medicines used in cancer treatment and…

May 29, 2020 Word for Word Media
Elsabé Klinck gives advice on how to liaise with your medical scheme when various administrative and legal issues arise. Approval of treatment plans Doctors will talk to patients about the treatment options available to them. Once the patient has agreed to a specific plan of action, a treatment regime is developed, which will map out the course of treatment, how frequently treatment is to be received, in what form (e.g. by oral medication, and/or through infusions, etc.). The doctor will also discuss side effects, and possible treatment difficulties, and risks with the patient.  In oncology, nearly all treatment plans must be recommended for approval…

Mar 20, 2020 Word for Word Media

Elsabé Klinck educates us on the basics of medical schemes when affected by cancer. Medical scheme cover The jargon of medical schemes can easily confuse patients, or the loved ones of cancer patients. Apart from choosing between various plans, there is a bewildering array of types of benefits (e.g. oncology benefits with or without co-payments); divisions into chronic, savings and/or risk pools; thresholds; payment gaps; co-payments and the likes. The law, however, creates a ‘fairly’ straight-forward system, where schemes:  must offer so-called Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) which must always be funded. may offer other healthcare cover for other conditions, not included in the PMBs. There is, in law, no such…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
Cancer is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. This includes the funding of cancer treatment. Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, expands on this. The incidence of cancer is increasing rapidly, for reasons that are not fully understood but which appear to be linked to lifestyle.  Discovery Health’s data shows that cancer cases increased by over 45% between 2011 and 2018, with almost 8 500 new cases in 2018 alone. As a result, the Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) has seen an increase of over 100% in the costs of cancer-related treatment, from R1,5bn in 2011 to over…

Dec 3, 2018 Word for Word Media

Discovery Health’s Oncology Healthcare Claims Tracker reports 10% increase in new cancer diagnosis, and R3 billion spent on oncology treatment in 2017. Zephania Msimang  Zephania Msimang is passionate about health screening tests. This prostate cancer survivor knows that the earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of remission. It is experiences like Zephania’s that inform Discovery Health’s latest Oncology Healthcare Claims Tracker, revealing must-know trends related to cancer .  “I was having trouble passing urine,” says Zephania. Blood tests revealed prostate cancer. “I thought that the diagnosis was the end of my world as I knew it,” recalls the 60-year-old….

Feb 7, 2018 Word for Word Media

Kim White helps us understand the income tax implications of our medical costs.

When facing unforeseen medical bills it is important to gain a basic understanding of South African tax laws so that you have the ability to claim contributions and expenses in your tax return. Income tax law and rules can be a little tricky but a good starting point is grasping what the law says and how to apply it to your current situation. It’s also strongly advisable to seek the assistance of a tax practitioner so he/she can well apply the laws and allowances relative to…

Jul 27, 2017 Word for Word Media
Ineke Gietzman, a Discovery Advanced Illness Benefit Care Coordinator, explains what her job entails. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” So the saying goes. And, the spark in the eyes of people who truly find their calling – people like Ineke Gietzman – proves it time and again. Ineke lives out her burning passion to ensure that people with life-threatening cancers live their last days with quality of life and dignity. This Palliative Care Coordinator’s kind green eyes are surrounded by gentle lines that tell of deep empathy,…

Mar 1, 2016 Word for Word Media

Palliative care is a critical part of care for patients to manage pain and other symptoms in the advanced stages of an illness. In the advanced stages of cancer, this type of care supports patients to gain strength, to carry on with necessary medical treatment and gives patients and families emotional support. Many times families are solely responsible for this care for the patient and for the family, which can be difficult to manage in dealing with the advanced stages of illness. Some medical schemes, such as Discovery Health Medical Scheme, have benefits that offer specific cover for and access…