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Forced Medical Aid to Specific Provider

Good Day

I have chronic asthma and am currently on a medical aid which I am more than happy with and which I pay for myself, which I am also happy to do.  The company I am working for wants to force us now to join Bankmed.  So far  almost everyone who has made the switch have been having complaints.  The most arising from the fact that we were told that the plans available is equivalent to what we had under our previous medical aids, only to find out afterwards that this only applies to the premiums and not the benefits.  Furthermore the benefits showing in the booklet that we received when the roadshows was presented does not correspond with what is actually covered.  Many people have problems with receiving the chronic medication that they have been on for years, doctor and hospital bills are not paid even though it says it is covered 100%.  Cover for specialists only pays partially for the first visit even though it states in the pamphlet that it is Unlimited and other people have complained that they took their child for a normal day surgery to a hospital that is on the list but were informed by the hospital that they will have to pay for it themselves.  When they enquired about this they were told by Bankmed that day surgeries are not covered but in the booklet is states that hospital procedures are Unlimited.  Our employer does give subsidy for the medical aid but I want to know if I am allowed to refuse to take their subsidy and remain on my medical aid that I am currently on and pay the whole premium myself.  We were told that our contracts are going to change at the end of last year to say that we have to be on Bankmed but no new contracts have been given to us to sign.  My current contract still says that it is compulsory to have a medical aid which the company will choose but if you am currently on another medical aid you can remain on it. I would also like to know if it is in my right to refuse to sign the new contract when it is drawn up.  Surely it is our Constitutional right to choose to stay on a medical aid that provides for your health instead of being forced to go onto an inferior one which can ultimately cause you or one of your family members to die because they are not providing giving the appropriate cover.

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