I actually wrote this on my birthday in December 2020 but never published it.
Am I ok right now? Yes… could things have turned out differently? Definitely. This is one of those FedHealth Medical Aid Reviews and Life Updates!
I recently posted on my social media that I’m in the hospital and I’ve been getting a lot of messages and calls from people asking if I am ok? So here’s a life update and probably the last post for 2020.
Imagine you’re lying in the emergency room and the doctor says we need to have surgery right now or you’ll die and your medical aid says no, sorry we need 3 – 7 days to investigate if you are really sick before we approve to pay for the surgery.
That’s what happened to me!
Are medical aids a scam?
According to Business Insider, South African members of medical schemes spent at least R17 billion – conservatively counted – out of their own pockets last year to cover their medical expenses, an increase of 55% over the past five years.
Why don’t medical aids cover all costs associated with seeking healthcare?
What’s the purpose of paying your medical aid every month, only for them to decline to assist you when you need help the most?
Important Medical Aid Terms to Understand
- Waiting Periods: A three-month general waiting period where no claims are covered except the prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs) and chronic medicines.
- Co-payments: A copayment is a fixed amount for a covered service, paid by a patient to the provider of service before receiving the service.
What’s my story
I was working abroad for the past 5 years and came home in January 2020 to visit. Due to the pandemic, I decided to not travel back and opted to work remotely from SA.
I already have healthcare in the US that I’m paying for but also decided to get a medical plan in South Africa in case I get ill here and my mom was retiring so I added her as a dependant on my plan.
I spoke to different medical aid companies and opted for FedHealth because I loved the idea of their medivault – I should’ve known it’s too good to be true!
I was a member for six months, one day I woke up with horrible abdominal cramps, I went to the doctor where I was told they need to do a CT Scan to see what’s wrong but they can’t do the scan because my medical refused to pay for it, so I agreed to pay cash. After the test, I was told I need emergency surgery and needed to be transported to a hospital.
Due to my medical aid not agreeing to pay for the surgery, the doctor said she can call an ambulance to take me to the closest public hospital but they already called them and they don’t have any beds available so I would have to wait a day or two for the surgery. The doctor said, “I’m scared to let you go because If you don’t get help today, you could die.”
Keep in mind, I arrived at the Emergency Room to see the doctor at 5:30 AM and it was already 1 PM and I hadn’t received any pain medication. There were people coming in and out of my room, constantly saying “Sorry, your medical aid says this and that”.
What can I do when treated unfairly by a Medical Scheme?
- Cancel your plan and move to another provider.
- Report to the Medical Aid Ombudsman of South Africa.
- CMS Council for Medical Schemes – 0861123267 or [email protected]
- After R400,000 in bills, a family’s medical aid was canceled – now a court says the scheme must pay via Business Insider (Jan 2021)
FedHealth Medical Aid Reviews
Listen! If it wasn’t the single worst medical experience of my life, it was certainly the most memorably bad. Among the indignities suffered, I will mention three:
- Being in a lot of pain. The doctor refusing to give you anything because your medical won’t approve pain killers.
- Having to spend almost over 20K a night for being in the hospital in cash and not getting it back despite being told they approved my claim and I will be refunded.
- Lying on a hospital bed in pain and crying on the phone while the customer care lady saying “sorry there’s nothing I can do, we need to investigate”. Me asking: what if I die while you’re taking days to investigate. Her: “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do.”
Does FedHealth Care about you?
Do a quick search on Facebook, Twitter, or even HelloPeter, and read up what other people say before making your decision about joining this medical aid.
Need more proof?
- #2 Worst Medical Aid in South Africa
- Enraged Fedhealth members take to social media over problems via The Citizen
Final say about FedHealth Customer Care
Every time I think about my experience, I feel like crying and you can’t even see a therapist because if your medical aid won’t pay for flu medication, trust me they won’t care about your mental health.
The more I search for them online, the more I discover horrific things that make me wonder why I didn’t read online reviews before signing up.
On FedHealth Medical Scheme, you get what you pay for—and not one peanut more, many people get less!
Update: 27 January 2021
I woke up and was vomiting blood. I rushed to the doctor where AGAIN I was told my medical aid has no funds available.
I paid cash for a consultation and medication. I went home to rest and the situation got worse and I ended up in the emergency room, where AGAIN I had to pay cash for medication.
As soon as I was discharged I called FedHealth to ask why they never pay for anything and if I need to change my medical plan to something else, I was told they’ll get back to me which of cause they never did.
Update: 2 February 2021
They called to say I will be refunded not even a 1/3 of what I spent in the past 2 months. So yeah! I’ve decided to cancel my plan because this is unacceptable. What kind of service is this?
Good Luck to you if you choose this medical aid!