Bestmed Coronavirus Update

Bestmed Notice: COVID-19 Benefits and Events Updates

As the COVID-19 count in South Africa is reaching record highs – to the extent that at one point we had the highest number of new cases in one day, the harsh reality is that many of us are in the unfortunate position where we personally know someone who has the virus. 

Over 3 201 Bestmed beneficiaries have been positively diagnosed with the COVID-19 and we take the responsibility of looking after their healthcare very seriously. Our sincere condolences go to the loved ones of the 144 members who have passed as a result of the virus and our thoughts are with the beneficiaries that are still fighting it.  We hope for their full recovery. We can report that over 2 760 of those infected have recovered. 

As our essential workers stand in the front line of the vexing battle against this global pandemic, Bestmed will continue to play its role as an essential service provider. We are committed to supporting our members during this difficult time and delivering the excellent service that they have become accustomed to. With more South Africans being exposed to this virus, and the numbers as high as they are, we have decided to take this opportunity to remind you of the COVID-19 related benefits that every Bestmed member has access to.

Out-of-hospital Benefits: Physical, Telephonic and Video Consultations

To help members take the necessary measures, Bestmed has funded over 21 000 COVID-19 tests thus far. As per the Council for Medical Schemes’ (CMS’) guidelines, Bestmed will fund screening consultations and pathology tests as a prescribed minimum benefit (PMB) from the Scheme risk benefit, whether the test is negative or positive where members comply with both the parameters listed below:

·         The member shows symptoms for COVID-19, and/or was in contact with individuals with the virus; and

·         The member was referred by a healthcare worker (doctor or nurse). 

If a member is asymptomatic and is not referred by a healthcare worker and, consultations and pathology tests will be paid from the relevant Scheme benefits according to their option rules and benefit availability.

Bestmed requires that members obtain a referral by a medical professional before taking a COVID-19 test. We are aware of concerns regarding the risk to members that might not be infected with the virus and infected members who may inadvertently spread the virus, however, it should be noted that it is medically necessary for them to consult with a healthcare provider. Members are encouraged to take the required safety precautions when visiting their provider, and to keep in mind that Bestmed also covers telephonic and video consultations with healthcare providers during the national lockdown. Telephonic and video consultations will be paid in accordance with benefit provision as per the member’s selected Bestmed option, or from Scheme risk as a PMB in line with the parameters listed above.

Bestmed members can also claim refunds for any cash purchases of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and hand sanitisers purchased from any network pharmacy by sending the proof of purchase to Refunds are paid from the member’s available over-the-counter (OTC) benefit.

In-hospital Benefits

Bestmed covers hospitalisation at 100% Scheme rates if members have tested positive for COVID-19. Members must kindly note that, pre-authorisation is required for hospitalisation and that they need to use one of our designated service providers if they are on a network option. The list of the dedicated network of services providers can be accessed via the online member portal, as well as via the Bestmed App. In the case of a positive diagnosis, the member, their representative or their healthcare provider must notify Bestmed as soon as possible via telephone on 086 000 2378 or via email at  

Bestmed Contact Channels During the Lockdown

Bestmed recognises the importance of assuring you and your clients that we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that our role as the funder of all your healthcare needs remains intact during the national lockdown. This means that Bestmed members are still able to access their benefits, submit chronic applications, request pre-authorisation, visit core network service providers, and communicate with our Contact Centre to resolve queries. In adherence to the social distancing requirements, our walk-in centres will be closed during the national lockdown. For their convenience and your peace of mind, we have made several self-service and contactless support facilities available for your clients as listed below:

Member portal
Member App – Apple
Member App – Android
Telephone support086 000 2378
SMS support44425
Nelspruit office+27 (0)13 101 0280
Port Elizabeth office+27 (0)41 363 8921
Durban office+27 (0)31 279 5421
Cape Town office+27 (0)21 202 8808 | 0860 333 342

We plead with you, yet again, to play your part by staying home, keeping up with good hygiene practices and wearing layered cloth masks when you are in public, as advised by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. Adhering to the lockdown regulations curbs the spread of COVID-19 and keeps our first responders safe while they continue to fulfill the fiduciary duty of keeping our loved ones safe.

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