Although it is a relatively young company - it was founded in 1992 - Discovery has become the largest medical aids provider in South Africa by far. With 14 different medical aid schemes operating under the Discovery umbrella and over 2 million members enrolled the company proudly brands itself as 'SA's Most Loved Medical Aid'. But just what is on offer and is it really so different to the offerings made by others in this competitive niche?
Discovery Medical Aid Basic Options
As is the case for almost any of the companies offering medical aid plans in South Africa Discovery offer plan options designed to suit a wide range of coverage and budget needs, from affordable hospital only plans best suited to the younger and fitter member to more expensive - but far more comprehensive - plans designed for those who are heavy consumers of medical services.
At the lowest levels of coverage - and therefore the lowest prices - you will find the
Discovery Coastal Core and Classic Core, plans that offer good in hospital coverage for a wide range of illnesses and injuries (including all of those mandated by law) but no real outpatient benefits. The Discovery Classic Comprehensive however is a much broader policy that can be customized in a number of different ways to provide just the right kinds and amounts of GP and other outpatient service coverages according to an individual’s personally anticipated needs.
When navigating the company's website the Benefits Calculator tool shouldn't be ignored as it provides a clear, easy to use interface that can help those who are undecided determine just which coverages are right for them.
Discovery Special Programmes
It has almost become the norm today for medical aid companies to attach additional special programme options to the policies they sell and Discovery is no exception. Their Vitality Programme is one primarily based around preventative health measures and one that quite literally rewards enrolled members for making healthy choices.
One a subscriber is enrolled they can earn points for things like completing health surveys and sharing health information, enrolling in fitness classes, keeping up with health screenings and attending GP checkup appointments. Points earned can then be used to claim a discounted rate on future plan premiums or for coverage for some normally non covered services, including optical and dental services.
In addition the Vitality Programme offers a number of regular discounts and coupons including 80% off membership fees at Planet Fitness or Virgin Active gyms, over the counter medication discounts and more. Points earned can also be redeemed as credits to use on a range of items offered in the Clicks and Dis-Chem Healthy Products catalogue.
Ease of Use
Most of us prefer to transact as much of day to day business online these days, for both the sake of convenience and saving time. Obviously bearing this preference in mind Discovery have made it rather simple for members to submit any and all claims electronically and they can also manage most aspects of their account basics online as well. There are even smartphone apps offered for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices that make doing so even easier and also include free access to an extensive library of health resources and advice articles.