Coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A

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With COVID-19 being confirmed in SA, we’ve put together some questions and answers to help you understand what to do if you think you have the virus, the benefits available to you as a Profmed member, and other useful information.

With COVID-19 being confirmed in SA, below are some questions and answers, which will assist you to understand what to do if you have the symptoms of the virus, the benefits available to you, and other useful information.

1. When should I be tested for COVID-19?

If you have been in contact with anyone who has been travelling and suspect you could have contracted the virus and/or you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, e.g. fever, headache, shortness of breath, coughing etc. then it is best to call your healthcare practitioner. Your family healthcare practitioner is the best person to assist you with understanding whether your symptoms warrant COVID-19 testing.


2. How do I access testing for COVID-19?

During working hours, please contact your family healthcare practitioner, and if after hours, your local Emergency Room (ER) facility. To avoid the possible spread of the virus, please call ahead as your practitioner or ER facility may have a particular protocol they want to follow. If your healthcare practitioner is familiar with you then the Profmed App gives you access to a virtual consultation via Medici, so you can consult with your healthcare practitioner via text, call or video-chat.


3. What will Profmed cover?

We will cover all costs related to confirmed cases of COVID-19 irrespective of which option you are on. You may need to pay upfront for out-of-hospital tests or consultations and if your tests are positive, we will retrospectively refund your expenses. It is your responsibility to inform the Scheme if you have contracted COVID-19 so we can help take care of you and pay any claims.


4. Which pathology laboratory should I use?

All major pathology laboratories in South Africa (Lancet, Ampath, Pathcare, Vermaak & Partners) are equipped to take the required swab and do the testing, but we recommend that you first consult your healthcare practitioner, who can guide you through the process.


5. Who qualifies for benefits for COVID-19?

Any member and all their dependents qualify for benefits for confirmed cases of COVID-19, whether adult or children. If you are a new member in a 3-month General Waiting Period, YOUR case will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


6. How will I be covered when I’m travelling overseas?

Your first consideration should be whether it is wise to be travelling at all. However, if you do contract the virus while in a foreign country it will be necessary for you or the attending doctor to report your case to the local authorities for them to isolate and treat you.

If you wish to access your Profmed International Travel Medical Assistance benefit, it is important for you to contact International SOS on +27 11 541 1225 so that we can monitor your progress and ensure you are receiving best-practice treatment. In terms of the Rules of the Scheme, funding is limited to R6 million per beneficiary up to a period of 90 days from the date of departure.

7. How do I avoid contracting COVID-19?

To reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19, follow good hygiene practices:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm, or into a tissue, then throw the tissue into a rubbish bin or flush away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Don’t panic.

The situation around COVID-19 is evolving. To keep yourself informed and up-to-date, visit the website of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases at for up-to-date alerts or call the toll free number on 0800 029 999. You can also visit the website of the World Health Organization at