12 August 2022

21st birthday cake for medical aid adult dependent

Your medical aid could charge child rates for dependents under the age of 21.

On turning 21 most medical aids will charge an adult rate which will be significantly higher. Additionally, some medical aids don’t permit adult dependents under a parent’s medical aid and require a separate standalone membership for adult children.

It is therefore important for parents who are paying for their child’s medical aid to be aware of these increased costs and membership implications.

If you have a child or children covered under your medical aid that are approaching adulthood or if they have already turned 21 it’s important to know the rules of your scheme.

These rules define the age and circumstances that your medical aid applies in determining child or adult dependent rates and when a child may no longer qualify for cover under a parent’s membership.

Bestmed

  • All children qualify for child rates under to the age of 24 years.
  • Fulltime students pay child rates up to the age of 26 years.

Bonitas

  • All children qualify for child rates up to the age of 21 years.
  • Fulltime students pay child rates up to the age of 24 years.
  • All members on BonStart option pays the same rate, whether child dependent or adult dependent.

Discovery

  • All children qualify for child rates up to the age of 21 years.

Fedhealth

  • All children qualify for child rates up to the age of 21 years.
  • Financially dependent, unmarried children that do not earn more than the maximum social pension qualify for child rates up to the age of 27 years.
  • Fulltime students pay child rates up to the age of 27 years.

Keyhealth

  • All children qualify for child rates under the age of 27 years.

Medihelp

  • All children qualify for child rates under the age of 27 years.

Medshield

  • All children qualify for child rates under the age of 21 years.
  • Fulltime students pay child rates up to the age of 28 years.

Momentum

  • All children qualify for child rates up to the age of 21 years.

Knowing how your medical aid’s child and adult dependant rates differ (increase) is important. Across all medical aids the adult dependant rates are substantially higher than those charged for child dependants.

To illustrate the extent to which child vs adult dependent rates increase the rate for a child dependent on Discovery Medical Aid’s Classic Comprehensive option is R1 258. The adult dependent rate is R5 966 per month. As a result, the premium increase to the parent is R4 708 per month. On Discovery Medical Aid’s Essential Saver option, the child dependent rate is R1 110 per month. On turning 21, the adult dependent rate charged will increase to R2 078 per month.

Despite the significant increase in medical aid charges for adult children it’s generally less expensive for a child to remain as an adult dependent on a parents’ medical aid than to move to their own medical aid membership. However, there are exceptions and considerations for example if your child dependent is studying or working but earning less than R10 000 a month, there are student and low-income options available that may be less expensive. The key is to find the balance of a cost-effective solution that still offers cover for your child’s needs. Gap cover should also form part of these considerations.

As an authorised Health Care Brokerage, we are accredited with all the major medical aids, and we can assist you with information on your medical aid option’s rules and rates. We are also able to assist you in assessing the options if your child or children are approaching the age of 21 or have already reached adulthood and remain dependants on your medical aid.

At Zestlife we are committed to doing ongoing assessments on our client’s health care profiles and our team of specialised consultants at HealthMax are always available to provide personalised advice according to your needs and budget.

For more information regarding Healthmax, please click here.

 
The information contained in this communication, including attachments, is not to be construed as advice in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 (“FAIS”) as the writer is neither an appointed representative of Zestlife, nor a licensed financial services provider as contemplated in FAIS. Please consult your Financial Adviser or Zestlife should you require advice of a financial nature and/or intermediary services.

Author - Elize Kruger

Elize Kruger

Elize Kruger, Digital Strategist and Content Creator

Elize is a seasoned public relations and content writer with over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. She plays a crucial role in developing and promoting informative content by effectively using the rich expertise and knowledge of key individuals within Zestlife. Elize is closely involved with product development and keeps up to date with insurance industry trends and business development. She is passionate about creating educational content and is dedicated to providing valuable insights to Zestlife’s growing audience.