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    Medical aid: Eish!

    Linza de Jager

    Medical aid schemes. Don’t talk to me about them! I’m battling mine at this moment.

    My gripes started at the end of January. This was when my medical aid (I will not mention the name) agreed to pay for a series of eight treatments. These began soon afterwards and have now come to an end. To date – that is the 30th June – not one session has been paid for.

    A murky mystery
    What happened? I received notification that payments that had been made during this time. On the other hand, I was told by my therapist that none had been made. Whenever I inquired into the matter I was assured that payments had been made. If my correspondence had not taken place via email, but had been on old-fashioned paper, it would have lead to the demise of a small tree.

    By this time last week things were coming to a head. Both myself and the therapist were getting hot and bothered about the matter. A flurry of emails and some telephone calls followed.

    And then, finally, the mystery was cleared up.

    The golden portals of the post office
    At the end of last week it transpired that money had in fact been set aside for the therapist. But it was only going to be paid out under two conditions: The therapist had to go to her bank (of which the local branch was closed due to a Covid-19 outbreak) and get a statement and have that certified. In the event she had a printout certified elsewhere.

    The medical aid also demanded that the therapist send them the certified printout via the post office. It seemed as if a scan would simply not do. And that was an interesting demand in the light of the post office’s reputation for not getting post to its destination. I had an altercation with them during December after they managed to lose the Christmas card that my brother had sent me from New Zealand. Considerations such as the pandemic and warnings from the government to avoid crowded public spaces did not seem to occur, either.

    At this point tempers flared. And so the situation stands as follows at this moment: The therapist has not gotten her money. The medical aid still holds onto it as if she is a minor. I have moaned and complained and gnashed my teeth and pulled out my hair. I have also lodged a complaint against my medical aid with the Council for Medical Schemes and the National Consumer Commission. By lunchtime yesterday I had my first response. The detailed letter of complaint that I had written had not been enough. I needed to complete forms before anything could be done. It was back to square one. Eish!

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