In South Africa (SA) you need medical aid to cover the cost of your medical services. And since there’s currently no national health insurance the only other way is by funding your medical care out of your own pocket in cash.  

And considering the high costs of healthcare in SA, especially private healthcare, which doesn’t come cheap, any foreigner working and residing in the country for a prolonged period of time should consider taking up medical aid cover.

There are various options that one could look at when it comes to access to South African medical aid for foreigners.

Medical insurance received through your travel insurance 

For foreigners who may not qualify for medical aid cover if they’re in the country on a visitor/tourist visa. A reputable travel insurance with medical cover will do for the duration of one’s stay in the country.

These insurances will cover the cost of private healthcare and most private hospitals will accept it as a form of guarantee. However, not all private doctors and other private healthcare service providers may accept travel insurance cover. Therefore foreign visitors may have to pay cash and claim back the costs from their travel insurance.

International Private Medical Insurance 

In some cases it’s cheaper than local South African cover. It can be commenced before your arrival in SA meaning there’s no period of time when you’re not covered. And its easy payment straight from your credit card meaning cover can be commenced if you don’t have a South African bank account.

Discovery Health’s 360° medical aid

It’s a medical aid plan for international students studying in SA. It takes care of your healthcare needs while you concentrate on your studies.

There’s unlimited private hospital cover, GP visits, Specialist benefits from dentistry and eye care. And One month’s contribution back if you go home in December and have paid your 12 months contribution upfront. And blood tests, day-to-day medicine, basic x-rays, Trauma Recovery Extender Benefit and medical equipment all for R290 a month.

There’s also antenatal and Specialist Benefits, Preventive screening, Hospital cover, MRI, CT scans, cover for chronic illness, Cancer and HIV. And Repatriation of mortal remains if you were to pass away in SA, you’re covered to have your mortal remains taken back to your country. And International Travel Cover for when you’re in your home country you’re covered for up to R5 million if you require medical care.