The report analyses the effectiveness of Hospital Cash Plans in South Africa in meeting the cost of health care for low-income earners, as well as its impact on the current medical schemes offered in South Africa. The paper illustrates that hospital cash plans are able to offer some form of protection against both direct and indirect costs to low income (less than R6000 per moth) earners that make use of public facilities even at benefit levels as low as R500 or R1000 per day. In addition, it put forth that it is highly unlikely that the average hospital cash plan product offering in this market would be able to draw members away from medical schemes considering that the majority of HCP policyholders also have lower levels of cover (70% to 80% of the market are believed to fall below R 1000 per day).
To help further promote the conclusions from the study, the FinMark Trust hosted a forum to present and discuss findings on the size, structure and general nature of the market for hospital cash plan insurance in South Africa. Some of the more specific findings were shared and included data on the ability of these products to assist policyholders to deal with both the direct and indirect costs and loss-of-income associated with a health event.