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Discovery has created an affordable way for employers to secure basic private healthcare services for their employees, including support for COVID-19.
Discovery has created an affordable way for employers to secure basic private healthcare services for their employees, including support for COVID-19.

Press release -

New basic private healthcare for employees of households

3 June 2020 – Johannesburg

Discovery has created an affordable way for employers to secure basic private healthcare services for their employees, including support for COVID-19. This is available through Primary Care for Household Employees, which gives household employees and their dependants access to primary private healthcare benefits from R249 per month.

“As employers welcome their members of staff back into the household, our focus is on financial stability and overall health,” says Nonkululeko Pitje, Head of Employee Health Solutions at Discovery. “While the focus is on preventing the spread of COVID-19, it is also important to minimise the risk of families and staff contracting the seasonal flu viruses which are currently circulating.”

Around 1.2 million people work as employees in private households in South Africa. These individuals provide an invaluable service in their roles as domestic workers, gardeners, drivers and caregivers. With household employees returning to work now as our country enters level 3 lockdown, the health of their staff becomes even more relevant for employers to consider.

“We’re acutely aware of the financial pressures COVID-19 has created, yet it is an incredibly important time for people to have access to quality healthcare. Before the pandemic, research showed that despite the national minimum wage, most household employees were unable to cover essentials such as food, housing and transport, and less than 1% of people within this employee group had access to private healthcare, and instead relied on South Africa’s public healthcare system. We know that access to primary healthcare services is associated with better health outcomes and a decrease in hospitalisation and emergency department visits. This was true before COVID-19 and is now even more important,” adds Pitje.

While Discovery Primary Care for household employees is not a medical aid and does not include hospital cover, employers can choose to add optional emergency hospital cover. The Trauma Benefit costs an additional R63 per month for R300 000 cover, or R88 for R1 million cover. Thisbenefit includes access to emergency private healthcare services at any private hospital, for a range of traumatic events.Funeral cover valued at R5 000 is also included at no extra cost.

“Giving household staff access to these benefits, ensures quick access to medical care in the event that an employee shows symptoms of illness such as COVID-19 and that any potentially serious illnesses are detected and treated early,” adds Pitje.

Discovery Primary Care for Household Employeesoffers a basket of benefits, including access to the WHO Global Outbreak Benefit which provides funding for COVID-19 POSITIVE testing and out-of-hospital treatment, within the Primary Care provider network for confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the period of the pandemic. (Members will be required to pay the network pathologist upfront and claim back from Discovery Primary Care.)

Discovery Primary Care for Household Employees provides a range of private healthcare day-to-day benefits, including:

  • Unlimited nurse visits at a pharmacy in the Discovery network
  • Unlimited GP visits when referred by a nurse
  • Two network GP visits each year in the absence of referral by a nurse
  • Cover for medical procedures in a GP's rooms
  • Cover for acute prescribed medicine on the medicine list
  • One eye test at a network optometrist and one pair of glasses or contact lenses each year
  • Dentist visits, fillings and tooth extraction at a network dentist
  • Cover for an annual flu vaccine at a network pharmacy
  • HIV management
  • One wellness screening each year.

Visit the Discovery website for detailed information on Primary Care for household employees.


Notes to editors:

Discovery Primary Care brings together the combined expertise of Discovery Health and Discovery Life to provide a truly innovative, integrated healthcare product to complement the existing healthcare solutions available to employees.

The product is offered by Discovery Life and administered by Discovery Health and is separate to the Discovery Health Medical Scheme. Discovery Primary Care is not a medical scheme nor is it meant to replace medical scheme cover.

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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, 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, exported to over 19 countries and reaching over 11 million members. Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, with a market cap of $7 billion.

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

Press contacts

Felicity Hudson

Felicity Hudson

Press contact Head of Reputation Management Discovery Group 0115294514

Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Healthcare & Sustainability

Munene Khoza

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Vitality & Wellness

Zeenat Moorad

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Banking & investments

Shanti Aboobaker

Press contact Reputation Manager Long and short term insurance

Gugu Yika

Press contact Reputation Management Consultant Vitality & Sponsorships 0115298083