Events and Life Mindsets Mobile Tech Web/Tech Wellbeing

Is it getting harder to unplug?

Portable and soon wearable computers. Wanna unplug? It’s going to get harder to do so

Photo titled “Plugged In” and quote by Matt Champlin.

Web/Tech Wellbeing

I love the CSIR International Convention Centre

This is my bandwidth for the day.

Mobile Tech Wellbeing

A profound iPhone love moment

I just had a moment of profound iPhone love although it could be due to a little dehydration from my hike up and down parts of Highlands North.

I do have a latte which will hopefully keep me going on my walk back to my office.

Mindsets Wellbeing

Getting screwed by over the counter medication

We realised that we have just hit our medical aid self-payment gap all of 2 and a half months into the year. It sounded completely wrong so we checked our records and it turns out a substantial portion of the amounts pharmacists submitted to Discovery was for over the counter medication which included our baby’s inoculations. My wife also pointed out that the over the counter stuff effectively extended our self-payment gap too. I thought about this for a bit and realised that we are effectively being double charged for over the counter stuff submitted to medical aid.

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

  • Medical savings balance: R5 000;
  • Over the counter medication submitted to and paid by medical aid: R2 500;
  • Original self-payment gap: R5 000.

What seems to be happening here is that the over the counter submissions are deducted from savings and paid by the medical aid. So that is R2 500 less than we would have had available if we had paid cash for that medication instead. Fair enough, except what happens next is that the over the counter submissions of R2 500 is effectively added to the original self-payment gap, extending that self-payment gap to R7 500. Of course the self-payment gap is that amount you fund out of your pocket before the above threshold portion of your cover kicks in and covers some of your medical costs.

So, as I understand this, we pay R2 500 out of our savings because the pharmacists just submitted the charges to our medical aid (it also bothers us that our baby’s inoculations were considered over the counter – they probably account for a substantial portion of the over the counter submissions). We would have had to pay cash for that stuff anyway, had it not been submitted. At this point we have basically paid for the over the counter stuff, Discovery just paid it on our behalf and recovered the money from our savings.

Now, once we exhaust our savings, largely due to these over the counter charges, we find that Discovery has added the over the counter charge to our self-payment gap which means that we have to pay an additional R2 500 of medical expenses ourselves, in addition to the R5 000 self-payment gap we had originally. That is a double charge. We paid for the over the counter stuff when it was deducted from our savings and now we have to cover that amount again as part of an expanded self-payment gap. We could have saved ourselves R2 500 if we were just paying for our routine medical stuff ourselves.

Am I missing something? This seems like a bit of a problem in how medical aids work.

Business and work Wellbeing

International Internet access still on the fritz due to Seacom maintenance

Our Internet connection has been terrible all weekend and this morning our international link seemed to fall away leaving us with local sites and the big nothing beyond them. I contacted Afrihost and asked what is going on and they came back with the following:


Please be advised that the SEACOM cable is currently offline for maintenance. SEACOM maintenance was scheduled to be done on Saturday 24th April.

There is currently no expected time of resolution and we will update this status page as we get updates.

Traffic is being re-routed over SAT3, but international speeds have been negatively affected.

Services such as Instant Messenger and websites hosted overseas(google) will be affected.

Local speeds will not be affected.

Seacom did publish an advisory a few days ago about maintenance on the 24th but it seems to be more complicated than Seacom anticipated because the line is still offline. The other cables coming down the east and west coasts can’t come soon enough. It seems that our other main line to the rest of the Internet is not coping with the load very well.