People are leaving medical schemes and ditching pricier options

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SA's largest open medical aid, Discovery Health Medical Scheme lost members in 2020.
SA's largest open medical aid, Discovery Health Medical Scheme lost members in 2020.
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With millions of people who lost their jobs in 2020 still out of work and predictions that South Africa will still experience more business closures, people are cutting back on medical aid expenses to survive.

The medical aid industry, just like pension administrators, thrives where there are more formally employed people in the country. The majority of the workforce still takes up medical aid membership through employer group schemes.

Discovery Health Medical Scheme's (DHMS) latest annual report gives a glimpse of how the industry suffered because of job losses last year. The scheme recorded a 1.57% net decline in membership in 2020. It recorded a 5.77% annualised lapse rate.

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