Discovery launched their enhancements and premium increases for 2018 to the industry today.

We are delighted to be the first to provide you with a summary of the highlights.

Discovery is now by far the most established health insurer in South Africa, with over 55% of South Africans on medical aid belonging to one of their options. Discovery has expanded into 18 different countries, with over 7 million members.

Underpinning their success is Vitality, which has reduced healthcare costs by 17%, and increased physical activity amongst its members by 24%.

With Discovery’s reserve ratio in excess of 26% of their Annual Premium Income, Discovery is rated as the most financially sound medical scheme in South Africa, and this has helped to keep their annual increase for 2018, to an average of 7.9%.

Amongst some of the highlights of the benefit enhancements, is a hugely enhanced maternity benefit programme; the launch of Vitality Move which is free to all Discovery Health members and is a programme that rewards everyone for taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle. Two other Vitality levels were launched, providing a greater choice for all members.

A huge focus of the launch has been the desired target market of those that are 30 years and younger.

The Active Rewards programme has also been upgraded to encourage regular physical activity with an exciting range of rewards, which includes retail rewards as well as various local and international travel benefits.

Discovery has seen a keen uptake on their Smart Plan options, and have offered a generous over-the-counter medicine benefit for schedule 0, 1, and 2 medication.

With the increasing use of technology, the DrConnect app is now available to all Discovery Health members. This app enables members to access a huge range of medical information and even interact with doctors and specialists around the world.

As medical aid is not affordable to all South Africans, PrimaryCare products have become very popular in the marketplace, and Discovery has a range of options to appeal to this market.

As a lot of our clients are on a Saver option, and exhaust their MSA, the enhancements to the Extender benefit are most welcome, which include casualty visits for youngsters age 10 and under as well as access to a wider range of GPs.

Further enhancements to Discovery Insure, Invest, and Life product ranges were launched. We will be happy to discuss these with you should you be interested.

For those of you living in the greater Durban area, we will be hosting a number of workshops in our boardroom to discuss these enhancements in more detail. Dates and times to follow.

Monique and Mark, will be travelling to other regions in South Africa, and should you wish to meet with us we will gladly do so. Please contact us to arrange a meeting.

Discovery will be e-mailing you your personalised option change letters, and should you wish to discuss any issues before making your change, please feel free to contact us at the office.

We will be attending at least another 10 product launches over the next 4 weeks and will be in a better position to advise on other products and options for next year. The GAP insurers have historically launched later in the year and we will analyse these changes as they are launched.