5 Best Medical Aids for Students in South Africa
The 5 Best Medical Aids for Students in South Africa revealed.
We tested them side by side and verified their medical aid plans for students in South Africa.
This is a complete guide to the best medical aid for students in South Africa.
In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:
- What is a Medical Aid?
- Why a student must consider medical cover
- How do you find affordable medical aid in South Africa as a student?
- Which medical aid is the cheapest in South Africa?
- How to compare medical aid prices against each other and make an informed decision?
So if you’re ready to go “all in” with the best medical aid for Students in South Africa, this guide is for you.
Let’s dive right in…
Best Medical Aids for Students (2023)
|🩺 Medical Aid||✔️ Offers Medical Aid Plans for Students?||⚕️ Plan Offered||👉 Sign Up|
|1. Bonitas||Yes||Boncap Student||👉 Apply Now|
|2. Discovery Health||Yes||Discovery KeyCare Plan||👉 Apply Now|
|3. Momentum Medical Aid||Yes||Ingwe Student Option||👉 Apply Now|
|4. BestMed||Yes||Hospital Plans||👉 Apply Now|
|5. MediHelp Medical Aid||Yes||MedMove||👉 Apply Now|
5 Best Medical Aids for Students (2023)
- Bonitas Medical Aid – Overall, the Best Medical Aid for Students in South Africa
- Discovery Medical Aid – Top Extensive Medical Protection in South Africa
- Momentum Health – Best Customer Service Medical Aid
- BestMed Medical Aid – Best Pay-As-You-Go Private Healthcare
- Medihelp Medical Aid – Broadest Range of Low-Cost Medical Aid Plans
Introduction to Medical Aids in South Africa For Students
👉 If you are too old to be on your parents’ medical aid coverage but are not yet permanently employed because you are still a full-time student, you may qualify for Medical Aid for Students. If you can provide proof of enrolment, you’ll be eligible for discounts.
👉 Students who are generally healthy but would like the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are financially protected in the event of a hospitalisation typically opt for a Hospital Plan that covers mostly in-hospital charges.
👉 Chronically ill students still have the option of enrolling in a full Medical Aid package, provided they have the necessary funds. Affordable plans that provide both hospitalisation and non-hospitalized care are also available.
👉 You can remain a dependant on your parents’ Medical Aid plan at the discounted child cost as long as you’re younger than age 21. Provided you are still in school full-time after turning 26, you may be eligible to continue paying the reduced child rate for some Medical Aid plans.
What students should look for in medical aid?
👉 There are only three things that truly matter while looking for student health care. What is the age requirement to join? How is the individual’s health generally, and who will be liable for paying the premiums?
👉 South African law states that a student under the age of 18 must enlist as a dependant of a main member and get coverage until the age of 26. However, it doesn’t have to be a parent; an uncle, aunt, grandmother, older sibling, or even a friend are all great options.
👉 Medical coverage for dependant students is likely to be comprehensive without substantially increasing the primary member’s payment in such plans.
👉 If you’re over 18 and not someone’s dependant, a hospital plan is probably your best bet, especially if you’re planning to pay for it out of pocket with a part-time job.
👉 Although many go this route in an effort to save money, it should be noted that the target market for these products is healthy young adults, as they only provide protection against the financially devastating effects of hospitalisation for things like accidents.
👉 As far as medical coverage goes, this should satisfy the majority of a student’s needs. However, in most circumstances, the costs associated with a chronic ailment, such asthma or diabetes, will only be covered during times of hospitalisation.
👉 The private sector has been hit just as hard by rising healthcare expenses as public facilities, and fund managers have had to come up with a variety of products that are significantly more flexible in terms of features and premiums to keep membership at affordable levels.
5 of the Best-Known Medical Aids in South Africa For Students
👉 What kind of health care coverage is available in South Africa for students?
👉 The top medical aid programmes in South Africa provide a wide range of options so that they may cater to the country’s students, who have varying degrees of financial security and health care needs and preferences.
👉 Students seeking medical coverage often choose for hospital plans and income-based policies because of their lower costs.
READ more about Health Insurance for Students in South Africa
1. Bonitas Medical Aid
👉 Over its nearly four decades in business, Bonitas has amassed a wealth of experience and a deep grasp of the South African private healthcare market.
👉 Therefore, its team of experts is always looking for new ways to ensure that members receive reasonably priced, high-quality healthcare, whether that’s through monitoring cutting-edge technological developments, managing your care to identify lifestyle diseases before they become chronic, or negotiating better rates on your behalf.
👉 You, along with the other 700,000 people the firm serves, may stay healthy at a reduced cost by taking advantage of the company’s competitive pricing and reputable network of healthcare professionals.
👉 You and your loved ones are sure to find a plan from Bonitas’ wide variety that meets your specific needs. In addition to providing maximum benefits, the programmes are created to be as easy to use as possible. When you’re a student shopping for your first medical aid scheme, Bonitas is there to help.
👉 Financially, the corporation seems strong, with steady finances and over R6 billion in reserves.
👉 Bonitas recognises the importance of establishing strong relationships with their clientele if they want to continue being member-centric and dedicated to putting their needs first. Bonitas Medical Fund has been recognised for its outstanding levels of customer satisfaction and excellent service by three separate surveys.
👉 Bonitas was named the top South African medical aid provider in 2021–2022 Ask Afrika Orange Index for service excellence in the medical aid sector.
👉 The 2019/2020 Index and the 2017/2018 Index both ranked it as the best medical aid in South Africa.
👉 Ask Afrika Orange Index has been tracking customer happiness and loyalty in the service sector since 2001. The index looks at 31 different industries and uses 10 key service criteria to evaluate an organization’s overall performance.
👉 Those in charge at Bonitas have extensive experience in their respective professions, and the organisation is overseen by a Board of Trustees comprised of experts in medicine, law, finance, and business who are not employees.
Best Bonitas Medical Aid Plans for Students
👉 A number of Bonitas’ plans are well-suited to students. For students to get the most out of their benefits, the programmes must be simple to grasp and use.
👉 The BonCap Plan is a low-cost medical aid programme that covers hospitalisation and basic medical expenses for those who qualify based on their income.
BonEssential Select Plan
👉 The BonEssential Select Plan is a high-quality provider network is used to bring you a wide range of hospital benefits, as well as certain value-added perks, under this plan.
👉 These plans include in-hospital coverage in addition to maternity, wellness, and preventative care benefits. The out-of-pocket costs of doctor’s visits, eye exams, and dental work are also covered.
Benefits for Students under Bonitas Medical Aid
👉 The majority of the aforementioned alternatives provide at least some coverage for hospitals and some sort of savings account to use for other medical costs.
How Much Are Bonitas Medical Aid Monthly Premiums?
👉 Bonitas monthly contributions start at R 2 033 for a Principal Member, R 1 555 for a spouse/adult dependant and R 596 per child (max 3) on the BonEssential Hospital Plan and go up to R 8 217 for a main member, R7 749 for additional adult, and R 1 672 for a child for the BonComprehensive plan that offers abundant savings, an above threshold benefit and extensive hospital cover.
What Is the Waiting Period for Bonitas Medical Aid Benefits?
👉 The minimum general waiting period for Bonita’s medical aid is three months for all benefits. Some plans, however, have a waiting period of 12 months, especially regarding a pre-existing condition.
👉 Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition; therefore it is excluded from all benefits for the first 12 months of scheme membership.
How to Claim Breast Reduction Benefits from Bonitas
👉 You can send in your claim in the following ways:
➡️ Email your claims to [email protected].
➡️ Post your claims to Bonitas Claims Department, PO Box 74, Vereeniging, 1930.
➡️ Submit your claims in person at one of the walk-in centres.
👉 Follow these simple steps to get your claims paid quickly:
➡️ Ensure your banking details are correct for refunds by electronic transfer (EFT) into your bank account
➡️ Make sure that your account and receipt show your name and initials, membership number, treatment date, the name of the patient as shown on your membership card, the amount charged and the ICD-10 code.
Bonitas Contact Details
34 Melrose Blvd, Birnam
Phone for General Queries: 0860002108
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
2. Discovery Medical Aid
👉 Discovery Health Medical Scheme is probably the biggest public medical aid provider in South Africa. Anyone, including students, can join the Program as long as they follow the rules.
👉 More than twenty different health plans are available through the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, all of which are great for students thanks to limited private hospital coverage and a wide variety of other benefits.
👉 All students may rest assured that they will have access to the finest medical care available whenever they need it because of the wide range of benefits, care plans, and services made available through the plans.
👉 Discovery claims that competing South African health plans charge an average of 14.9 per cent more in premiums for the same level of coverage, making its plan more affordable for students who may not yet be making a substantial income.
👉 The Vitality wellness programme is also available to you, and it provides incentives like gym memberships and more in exchange for your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
👉 The Scheme is managed on behalf of its members by a Board of Trustees that is separate from the participants.
👉 Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd., an independent regulated financial services company, handles the operation. Discovery Health Medical Scheme is governed by the Medical Schemes Act and the Council for Medical Schemes.
Discovery Medical Aid Option Plans Suitable for Students in South Africa
👉 Depending on your budget, the Discovery option can provide you with comprehensive, but pricey, private healthcare coverage, or it can provide you with more reasonable, but still comprehensive, private healthcare coverage through a smaller network of providers at a lower cost.
👉 As such, there are several different healthcare coverage alternatives for students to pick from.
👉 Each plan in the Saver Series is reasonably priced and includes hospitalisation protection, coverage for necessary chronic medications, and benefits for day-to-day living paid for using a Medical Savings Account. Since the membership fees are affordable, a large number of students sign up.
👉 The Core Series provides hospital plans that are a good deal, since they give students with modest resources unrestricted private hospital coverage and basic coverage for chronic medicine. No coverage for regular expenses is included in the benefits.
👉 If you utilise providers in a certain network, the Smart Series of plans offer the most affordable in-hospital coverage, necessary chronic medicine coverage, and limited day-to-day coverage for students.
Benefits for Students in South Africa under Discovery Medical Aid
👉 Essential benefits, including as hospitalisation coverage, are typically included in the aforementioned alternative plans. Some people have the option of putting money away each month to use for things like emergency care and regular bills.
How Much Are Discovery Medical Aid Monthly Premiums?
👉 Monthly premiums start from R930 per member for the KeyCare Series with medical cover for both in-hospital and out-of-hospital treatment by providers in a specified network and go up to R8 298 per member for the Executive Plan with extensive cover for in-hospital and day-to-day benefits, extended chronic medicine cover, and unlimited Above Threshold Benefit.
What Is the Waiting Period for Discovery Medical Aid’s Benefits?
👉 Discovery Health Medical Scheme’s general waiting period is 3 consecutive months and the condition-specific waiting period is 12 consecutive months.
How to Claim for Discovery Medical Aid Benefits
👉 You can submit a claim fast and easily in the following ways:
➡️ Scan and upload your claims on the website.
➡️ Scan and email your claims to [email protected].
➡️ Use the Discovery app on your smartphone. If the claim has a QR code, scan the QR code or alternatively take a photo of the claim from within the app.
➡️ You can also submit your claims by post.
Discovery Medical Aid Contact Details
PO Box 784262,
Phone: 0860 99 88 77
3. Momentum Health
👉 The Momentum open medical plan is offered by one of South Africa’s largest and most reputable healthcare solution providers, making it a top choice for those in need of quality medical coverage. The parent firm, Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited, owns all of Momentum Health Solutions.
👉 A non-profit open medical scheme, Momentum Medical Scheme is regulated under the Medical Schemes Act 131 of 1998, as amended.
👉 The organization’s Board of Trustees is made up of a diverse group of professionals with extensive backgrounds in medicine, finance, and the law, and new members are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting.
Momentum Health Options Plans Suitable for Students in South Africa
👉 Momentum Medical Aid offers a comprehensive selection of healthcare coverage options for students in South Africa across five different medical aid plans. Such schemes include:
Ingwe Student Plan
👉 The Ingwe Student Plan is South Africa’s most reasonably priced medical aid option. If you are a student with no money but require a Visa and medical aid, this is your best option. Unlimited general medical, dental, optical, and speciality care services are all available for as little as R407 per month. You will also receive a complimentary chest x-ray to satisfy visa regulations.
👉 Coverage for private hospital stays at any facility in the Evolve Network is included without any annual caps with this plan.
👉 Two telehealth visits per year with a licenced physician are included in the Evolve option plan for young adults, and HealthSaver+ applies to any additional daily benefits.
👉 Comprehensive hospital and chronic cover from any or linked providers are available to student members with the Custom option. They have the option of using any hospital of their choosing or limiting their out-of-pocket costs by only visiting a network of pre-approved private hospitals.
👉 Students who can afford a higher regular premium may choose to consider this top plan. The Incentive option gives students access to comprehensive hospital and chronic cover from all or some of the providers affiliated with the network. Ten per cent of their monthly payments go into a health savings account that will be used to pay for routine expenses.
👉 For students who need a little more coverage, this more expensive plan provides extensive hospital insurance and additional chronic cover from any or affiliated providers. Twenty-five per cent of their payments are placed in a special medical savings account for use in meeting routine costs. When they reach their target Threshold, they will be eligible for the Extended Coverage benefit with the Extender Option
👉 With the Summit option, students may select from a limitless variety of private hospital coverage options. Daily payments up to a set sum per beneficiary per year and chronic coverage for 36 ailments are both provided.
Benefits for Students in South Africa under Momentum Health
👉 In terms of essential benefits like hospital coverage, the Momentum Health plans that are available as choices are nearly ideal. Some plans let participants set aside money in tax-deferred accounts, which can later be used for things like emergency care or general living expenditures.
How Much Are Momentum Health Monthly Premiums?
👉 Momentum monthly premiums start at R1 539 for the main member on the Evolve Option and go up to R12 345 for the main member on the Summit Option.
What Is the Waiting Period for Momentum Health Benefits?
👉 The general waiting period is 3 months, but since pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition, it is excluded from all benefits for the first 12 months of scheme membership.
👉New Members 35 years or older may be subject to late-joiner penalties on Momentum Medical Aid Plans.
How to Claim Momentum Health Benefits
👉 You can submit a claim in several ways:
➡️ Use the Momentum App
➡️ Use the web chat facility in the bottom left corner.
➡️ Send an email to [email protected] or send normal mail to PO Box 2338, Durban, 4000
👉 To make sure your claim is processed quickly and accurately, including the following information:
➡️ Membership number.
➡️ Principal member’s surname, initials, and first name.
➡️ Patient’s surname, initials, and first name.
➡️ Date of treatment.
➡️ Amount charged.
➡️ ICD–10 code (code to indicate what condition you’ve been diagnosed with), tariff code (product-specific code for procedures and claims), and NAPPI code (a unique identifier for a given ethical, surgical, or consumable product).
➡️ Service provider’s name and practice number.
➡️ Proof of payment if you’ve paid the claim out of your own pocket.
Momentum Health Contact Details
201 Umhlanga Ridge Blvd
PO Box 2338
4. BestMed Medical Aid
👉 According to the company’s own statistics, BestMed is the country’s largest privately operated medical aid scheme and the country’s fourth largest open medical aid provider.
👉 BestMed has a history of giving its young adult members access to a wide range of medical professionals, preventative care resources, and affordable medical aid plans.
👉 The company is proud of its annualised growth rate of just single digits over the past few years and its suite of 13 streamlined products designed to meet the needs of people at every stage of life and in all their financial situations.
👉 All of the alternatives provide considerable advantages for preventative healthcare for young adults, including contraception for women, treatment for pneumonia, and vaccinations against influenza, among many others.
👉 Young individuals in South Africa have access to more than 4,300 primary care physicians, as well as networks of hospitals and specialists, thanks to this medical assistance.
👉 All coverage plans have access to BestMed’s Maternity Care programme, which provides young parents with a wealth of resources and support as they prepare for the birth of their child.
BestMed Medical Aid Option Plans Suitable for Students in South Africa
👉 BestMed offers a variety of options for students, including hospital plans, network plans, savings plans, and complete plans.
👉 The flexibility of being able to receive care at any of the hospitals in the plan’s network for both anticipated and unanticipated hospitalisations makes hospital plans a top choice among students.
👉 Students who can afford the slightly higher monthly premiums for a BestMed Network Plan appreciate the extra benefits it provides.
👉 With either the Rhythm1 or Rhythm2 Network Plan, you can have limitless in-hospital coverage in addition to either a bare-bones set of critical daily benefits or a plethora of discounts at certain healthcare providers’ offices. There is a sliding scale for the Rhythm2 Network Plan.
👉 If you’re a student looking for medical aid, the BestMed Savings Plan is your best alternative because it provides both comprehensive coverage at private hospitals and a savings account to use for non-medical needs.
Benefits for Students in South Africa under BestMed Medical Aid
👉 The BestMed Medical Aid plans that are available meet the minimum requirements for necessities like hospital coverage. Some plans allow members under the age of 30 to make pre-tax contributions to a savings account that can be used for unexpected medical costs or general living expenditures.
👉 Because of the inclusion of chronic benefits and savings options, the comprehensive plans are a good fit for students who have complex medical requirements.
How Much Are BestMed Medical Aid Monthly Premiums?
👉 At the time of writing, monthly premiums for the cheapest BestMed Beat1 Network Hospital Plan started at R1 710 for a member, with an additional R1 329 for an adult dependant and R720 for a child dependant, to a maximum of 3 child dependants. Additional children join at no additional cost.
👉 The most expensive plan at the time was the Pace4 Comprehensive Plan, with monthly contributions of R9 411 per member and R9 411 per adult dependant. For a child dependant, the extra contribution was R2 205, up to 3 child dependants with additional children added as beneficiaries of the scheme at no extra cost.
What Is the Waiting Period for BestMed Medical Aid’s Benefits?
👉 There can be a general waiting period of three months or a specific waiting period of 12 months for a certain condition.
👉 BestMed Medical Scheme will sometimes only pay a claim if it is a PMB. This can happen if you are in a waiting period or if you are getting treatment for a condition that your plan doesn’t cover.
How to Claim Benefits from BestMed Medical Aid
👉 If your healthcare provider does not submit claims to BestMed, one must submit the original claim directly to the fund administrators.
👉 You can claim by means of the BestMed App, or by scanning and emailing your claim to them.
👉 Details that should appear on all claim documents include:
➡️ Member’s name and contact details
➡️ BestMed membership number
➡️ Patient’s details
➡️ Service provider’s name, contact details and practice number
➡️ Details of treatment, including applicable tariff and ICD-10 codes
➡️ Whether payment should be done to the service provider or the member
👉 You will receive an email confirmation when your claim is received and indexed.
BestMed Medical Aid Contact Details
BestMed Medical Scheme,
Glenfield Office Park
361 Oberon Avenue
PO Box 2297
Phone: +27 (0)86 000 2378
5. Medihelp Medical Aid
👉 When it comes to covering the costs of medical care for students, Medihelp is a dependable and constant organisation.
👉 Even from its inception over a century ago, Medihelp has prioritised the health and well-being of its members. The ability to respond quickly to customer feedback and implement innovative solutions has kept Medihelp as one of the top five medical aid providers in the market.
👉 When it comes to the health of its members, Medihelp’s primary focus is on providing for their individual requirements.
👉 Members control the Medihelp medical aid scheme and handle all administrative duties such as submitting and paying claims, securing necessary pre-authorization and communicating with other members. For this reason, students can have faith that Medihelp staff will provide them with excellent care.
Medihelp Medical Aid Option Plans Suitable for Students in South Africa
👉 Medihelp offers the following option plans that are ideally suited to students:
👉 Through reliable partnerships, the MedMove plan is able to offer basic health coverage, including private hospitalisation and emergency medical services. Members have access to a range of medical resources, including virtual and in-person doctor consultations, prescription medication, and more.
👉 In order to provide comprehensive coverage at an affordable price, MedElect utilises a reliable network of service providers while still allowing students to focus on their education. It provides substantial hospital coverage, in addition to screenings and other advantages.
👉 MedVital is an alternative healthcare option that provides reasonably priced protection against the cost of unanticipated medical emergencies, private hospitalisation, and minor medical procedures.
👉 An added savings account, additional insured coverage if savings are gone, dental and vision coverage and maternity benefits are all perks of MedAdd that students with new families might appreciate.
👉 In addition to covering private hospitalisation at any hospital, MedSaver also has a 25% savings pocket for out-of-hospital medical costs. When a person’s emergency fund is gone, a secondary form of out-of-hospital coverage kicks in.
Benefits under Medihelp Medical Aid’s Option Plans for Young Adults in South Africa
👉 MedMove is the perfect programme for students in South Africa to receive Medihelp’s services.
👉 Health necessities like private hospitalisation and emergency medical care are covered by MedMove with monthly charges starting at R1 254.
👉 Members can get prescription medication, see doctors online or in person, and use a variety of other medical services.
How Much Are Medihelp Medical Aid Monthly Premiums?
👉 Medihelp monthly premiums start with Medmove’s R1 254 per month per member for health essentials cover such as private hospitalisation and emergency medical services through networks and go up to R10 980 per month for the top-of-the-range MedElite plan that offers the most extensive cover for medical emergencies, private hospitalisation and preventive care, as well as extensive provision for acute and chronic medicine, radiology, pathology and other day-to-day medical expenses.
What Is the Waiting Period for Medihelp Medical Aid’s Benefits?
👉 Medihelp may apply a general waiting period or a condition-specific waiting period.
👉 A general waiting period of up to three months applies from the date that a member joined. During this period, a person is not entitled to any benefits except prescribed minimum benefits (PMB). Claims submitted during this waiting period, will not be paid by the scheme.
👉 During a condition-specific waiting period of up to 12 months a member will not be entitled to benefits for a particular condition for which the person receives medical advice, a diagnosis, care or treatment (excluding PMB).
👉 Upon joining Medihelp, members receive a document with the conditions under which they are enrolled as beneficiaries, indicating any waiting periods and/or late-joiner penalties.
How to Claim Benefits from Medihelp Medical Aid
👉 To submit a medical aid claim with Medihelp, a member can use one of the following options:
➡️ Use Medihelp’s member app to upload the account and proof of payment and submit.
➡️ Email the account and proof of payment to [email protected].
➡️ Submit your claim by logging in to Medihelp’s Member Zone and clicking on “Claims” – “Submit a claim”.
👉 To guarantee that your claim is valid according to the Medical Schemes Act and Medi help’s Rules, ensure that you have provided the following details:
➡️ Your membership number
➡️ The member’s name and surname
➡️ The name, surname and date of birth of the patient
➡️ Medihelp Medical Scheme – not “Private” (this has tax implications)
➡️ The healthcare practitioner’s name and practice code number
➡️ The amount charged per item
➡️ The amount you have paid
➡️ Your proof of payment (attached)
➡️ The relevant codes such as ICD-10, NAPPI and item code(s)
➡️ The date on which the service/procedure was rendered/performed
👉 The account should not be modified by hand in any way, as this will cause your claim to be invalid.
👉 Your claims must reach Medihelp on or before the last workday of the fourth calendar month after the month in which the service was rendered.
Medihelp Medical Aid Contact Details
Medihelp Head Office
PO Box 26004
189 Clark street,
General enquiries – 086 0100 678
International – +27 12 336 9000
Email: [email protected]
Claims submission: [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a student in South Africa have a medical aid?
Yes. If you are too old to be on your parents’ medical aid coverage but are not yet permanently employed because you are still a full-time student, you may qualify for Medical Aid for students. If you can provide proof of enrolment, you’ll be eligible for discounts.
Read more about the:
What factors are important when looking for medical aid for students in South Africa?
In general, students may want to consider medical aid plans that offer comprehensive benefits at affordable rates, with a network of healthcare providers that is convenient and accessible. They may also want to look for plans that offer additional benefits and services that meet their specific healthcare needs.
Why should students apply for medical aid if they are healthy and young?
Students who are generally healthy but would like the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are financially protected in the event of a hospitalization typically opt for a Hospital Plan that covers mostly in-hospital charges.
Can you apply for student medical aid if you are younger than 18 years of age?
South African law states that a student under the age of 18 must enlist as a dependent of a main member and get coverage until the age of 26. However, it doesn’t have to be a parent; an uncle, aunt, grandmother, older sibling, or even a friend are all great options.
What is the best type of medical aid plan for students over 18 years of age?
If you’re over 18 and not someone’s dependent, a hospital plan is probably your best bet, especially if you’re planning to pay for it out of pocket with a part-time job.
You might like to add GAP cover to your plan. Read more about Cura Administrators Gap Student