Choosing Medical Aid through a Broker

  • Are you certified with the FSB and what is your financial services number. This is the basic start to your interview. It’s also something that’s non negotiable. If your broker is not registered and his company is not registered with the FSB, then they’re not legal and you will have no recourse through the ombudsman for shoddy dealings. Don’t cut corners. Make sure they are legitimate.
  • Will I have a dedicated contact person at the brokerage. It might sound obvious. Yes or No depending on your opinion, however, the reality is that you need to know who to go to when you need answers or help.
  • Do you have references of happy clients and may I contact them. Make sure that you phone the references. Just two should suffice but ask specific questions such as have you ever had a problem with your medical aid. If they answer yes, then ask if your broker helped and is so how. How long did they take to respond to your query and were they proactive in giving you feedback.
  • How long have you been a broker. This just talks to experience. The reality is that experience is incredibly valuable. It’s hours and hours of working and practicing and making mistakes and learning from them and making new ones and so on. Experience counts a lot. It also means that the chances are the broker will have contacts in the medical aid companies which can benefit you no end.
  • Are all my medical conditions covered including pre-existing conditions. A very important question. Many medical aids either wont cover a pre-existing condition or will put a mandatory waiting period of non cover.
  • Is there an age restriction to join. Many medical aids just wont cover you beyond a certain age. Is it ageism? Most definitely, there is that bias and the fact that the older you get, the more chance of you requiring medical care.
  • Do you specialize in Medical Aid or do you also broker other products. Personally, I would prefer a specialist here as this is their bread and butter. If you want the very best in the industry, chances are it will be a specialist in that field.
  • Do you get discounted rates for your clients? Some brokers can negotiate a slightly better rate. This adds up especially when you consider how much medical aids love to increase the yearly contributions by.
  • How do you handle client escalations. What’s the process. Do you review the query first and then refer it to the medical aid or do you just forward the email to their customer services department. Do you proactively follow up and provide feedback to me the client.
  • Who do you rate as the best medical aid in general and why. See the next question.
  • What Medical Aid are you on. I love this one. Unless the broker has been asked this before it can be very interesting. Quiz them on why they chose that particular medical aid. What plan they are on and how long have they been with the company.
  • What are your top three values
  • Unusual I know, but the reality is that it will show if it’s something that they have considered. Have they ever thought what do I stand for. It talks to introspection, self worth and integrity.
  • Have you had any complaints logged about you with the Ombudsman. This is a good one, also because it can be checked if necessary with the ombudsman. If there are complaints, it doesn’t automatically mean the brokers no good, there are almost always some disgruntled clients. The main point is that there shouldn’t be a lot of them and the context of the complaint.

At the very least besides knowing a lot more about your broker, they will know that they are dealing with a client who does their due diligence. This will set the tone for your future dealings and already you are on a good footing as you will have the respect of the broker.

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