When Do Your Kids Become Adult Dependents On Your Medical Aid?

Has this ever happened to you? January rolls around, you haven’t seen your insurance broker since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and when your debit orders run at the end of the month, you are shocked to notice that your medical aid premium has jumped by an additional R1000. “What is going on now?” In a stink you pick up the phone and strip a piece off the medical aid call centre agent. Turns out one of your kids have been bumped up from being a ‘child dependent’ to an ‘adult dependent’, on your medical aid plan and now you need to cough up substantially more money. But nobody told you about this, did they?

So, when do child dependents become adult dependents?

With most South African Medical Aid Schemes ‘child dependents’ are no longer considered children when they turn 21. That means if Jonny has had his 21st birthday this year (and he is still on your medical aid), expect to start paying ‘adult dependent’ rates.

The increase can be substantial and something you might not have even planned for.

Is there anything you can do about this? It might be that your kid is 21 but still a student, studying at varsity. It seems a little unfair that he needs to be paying full rates when he isn’t even earning an income yet?

It differs from one scheme to the next, but some schemes will allow your kids to remain as a ‘child dependent’ provided they can prove they are still a student. If that is the case, send proof that your child is still studying, to your scheme as soon as possible.

If your kid isn’t studying, then there is very little you can do - except either pay the higher rates, or get your kid onto their own medical aid.

If you have kids who are heading out of their teenage years and into early adulthood and they are still on your medical aid plan, do the smart thing and pick up the phone to find out what rules your scheme has in place.

Are you in the market for a competitive medical aid quote? Why not apply here, today.

The iHound