Discovery announces price hike for medical scheme members

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Discovery's headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and Partners)
Discovery's headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and Partners)

After freezing its medical aid contributions at the same level for the first half of the year, Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) has announced a 5.9% increase across all its options from 1 July 2021.

Last year, the Council for Medical Schemes recommended that medical aids freeze their price hikes for 2021 or limit their increases to around inflation, which is currently above 4%.

This was to "insulate members facing financial hardship" during the pandemic, the CMS said. Medical schemes could afford lower contribution hikes, after saving billions in claims last year as South Africans avoided doctor visits, non-urgent medical procedures and other healthcare treatments during the pandemic.

Discovery itself reported last year that it saw 51% fewer mammograms during April to July, compared to 2019. In the same period, there was a fall of 51% in the number of members who registered for depression.  

The medical scheme now has an accumulated a capital reserve of approximately R27 billion.

Discovery contends that, for the year, its weighted average annual increase works out to 2.95% - given that the 5.9% increase followed six months of 0% increase.

This is the lowest weighted average contribution increase among open medical schemes and well within the Council for Medical Scheme’s guidelines, the company said in a statement.

"The 5.9% increase is an important decision to align member contributions to real healthcare costs, placing DHMS in an ideal position to offer an affordable contribution increase for the upcoming benefit year in 2022, and beyond," said Dr Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health.

DHMS is allowing its members a once-off opportunity to upgrade their plans mid-year. The deadline for upgrade requests is 15 June.

In addition, members whose plans include a medical savings account (MSA) will benefit from an aligned 5.9% additional funds in their medical savings account from 1 July, following the mid-year contribution increase. There will be no changes to limits, deductibles, co-payments and thresholds, which were already increased during January 2021.

Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Fin24 front page.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.71
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.25
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.08
+0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.02
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.6%
Gold
1,806.73
+0.8%
Silver
24.57
+0.9%
Palladium
2,065.50
+2.2%
Platinum
1,062.25
+1.8%
Brent Crude
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,446
-0.1%
All Share
66,980
-0.1%
Resource 10
63,455
+0.8%
Industrial 25
85,827
-1.0%
Financial 15
13,901
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
25% - 270 votes
No, I have deleted it
45% - 481 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 322 votes
Vote