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Discovery’s new prepaid offer gives anyone in South Africa easy access to affordable, quality, healthcare

Press release   •   Dec 07, 2020 07:14 CAT

The Discovery Prepaid Health platform brings affordability, transparency and predictability to the costs of care by allowing users to buy prepaid vouchers for valued services – starting with face-to-face visits to a GP with access to medicine, all-in

7 December 2020 - Discovery Health is today launching an exciting digital health innovation - the Discovery Prepaid Health platform. This convenient web- and WhatsApp-based platform offers any person living in South Africa the chance to buy vouchers towards high-quality, primary healthcare services in the private healthcare sector, at highly competitive rates.

R300 GP plus medicine voucher

The first offering within the Discovery Prepaid Health range of private primary healthcare products is the R300 GP doctor consultation voucher, including the medicines dispensed by the doctor after the consultation. This voucher can be easily redeemed at any dispensing General Practitioner within the Discovery Prepaid Health network.

“We are very excited about this platform. Discovery Prepaid Health broadens access to high quality treatment and medicine for all people in South Africa,” explains CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Ryan Noach.

“Our vision is that buying prepaid vouchers for high quality private healthcare becomes ubiquitous, akin to buying prepaid airtime for our mobile phones. One of the most compelling features is that there is no limit to the number of vouchers one can buy,” adds Dr Noach. “We have carefully selected the healthcare professionals who are pioneering the Discovery Prepaid Health offering with us, and we’re excited that every person in our country will have the opportunity consult with them.”

To start, the Discovery Prepaid Health network includes doctors in the major metros within eight of the nine provinces and this will continue to be expanded, with new practices being added daily.

“Discovery Health has, over time, built strong private healthcare networks and a deep understanding of the healthcare system. Leveraging our data analytics capabilities, we have been able to identify the intersection of optimal, quality healthcare and affordability, ideal for the currently uninsured market,” explains Dr Noach.

Buy and share Discovery Prepaid Health vouchers within 60 seconds

“Whilst Discovery Prepaid Health is designed to appeal to non-insured consumers of private healthcare, this offering is also highly relevant to our existing Discovery Health Medical Scheme members as they can, within 60 seconds, buy a voucher and share the voucher link with anybody else. A parent might buy for a student away from home; a sibling may buy for a loved one some distance away, an employer for an employee and so on,” explains Dr Noach.

Giving people who aren’t members of medical schemes access to quality, affordable, private primary healthcare

“Discovery Health is committed to our core purpose of making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives. What this means, day to day, is that we put significant energy into proactively understanding society’s healthcare needs and driving innovation around new ways of accessing private healthcare for as many South Africans as possible.”

“In South Africa, whilst only 16% of the population has private medical scheme cover, our research shows that up to 50% of the population chooses to access primary healthcare in the private healthcare sector. Quality of care is critical to this cash market, with consumers choosing to continue to pay to see a trusted healthcare professional only when they feel that the care they receive is excellent. Healthcare visits are frequently funded by a third party, typically a family member or an employer.”

“Importantly however, our research indicates that cash prices for private healthcare are highly variable, and unpredictable. Sometimes consumers pay rates that are up to 80% higher than private medical scheme tariffs. There is also, at times, unfortunately variable quality, with little transparency and accountability.”

A lack of understanding or predictability around the ultimate cost and the quality of a healthcare visit together with the prescribed medicine, can cause significant distress. Research shows that uninsured consumers of private healthcare consider illness as something very incidental and episodic, and would typically defer seeking care for symptoms of illness until more serious symptoms develop. In households with children, adults typically prioritise them for treatment, citing affordability and access constraints as a reason for delayed care to the bread-winners. Some people even find it necessary to take on personal loans to cover healthcare costs.

“Discovery Prepaid Health works towards solving for these concerns by democratizing private primary healthcare that is affordable high-quality care, transparent and simple to access.”

We are committed to the affordability and sustainability of healthcare”

In summary, access to Discovery Prepaid Health’s digital platforms ensures users:

  1. Access to high-quality, private, primary healthcare for every person in South Africa at highly competitive rates
  2. The option to top-up their balance online or in-store through a large network of retailers
  3. To reserve available funds in their digital wallet for future use
  4. To receive regular health and wellbeing articles, tips and other information.

How to access Discovery Prepaid Health – a seamless digital journey

Discovery Prepaid Health is accessed by registering a user’s profile via www.discovery.co.za or on WhatsApp on 0800 33 78 46. Discovery clients can also access a link to these platforms though the Discovery corporate app.

Once registered, users can Buy, then Load and then Redeem prepaid healthcare, in a simple user-friendly process.

  1. Buy:  i)A Blu voucher or 1ForYou voucher with cash in-store, at one of 350 000 retail outlets; or ii)A voucher through the Discovery Prepaid Health web-based app, or the Vitality Active Rewards Mall, using a debit or credit card.
  2. Load the voucher to their Prepaid Health balance using WhatsApp, www.discovery.co.za or the Discovery Prepaid Health app
  3. Redeem: Use their Discovery Prepaid Health balance for any service available on the Discovery Prepaid platform. e.g. a GP + meds voucher

“Disruption in the healthcare market is required to improve access and affordability of private healthcare for all South Africans, so that they can choose quality, private primary healthcare when they wish to,” concludes Dr Noach.

For more information, contact:

Nthabiseng Chapeshamano
Senior Reputation Managernthabisengc@discovery.co.za/media_relations_team@discovery.co.za

084 037 1951

Discovery information

About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 24 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

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