Medical aid is a big deal in South Africa. But, not everyone can afford it. Discovery, in a partnership with Clicks and Auto & General Insurance, has launched a (kinda) new health insurance product. Flexicare is the name and keeping you healthy is its game.
Flexicare isn’t actually all that new. It’s been around since 2018 but it was previously confined to companies. As long as your workplace supported it, you could access it. Now, you don’t need to wait for your capitalist overlords to give a damn about your health to get you some Discovery coverage. It’s not quite medical aid but it would still be handy to have.
Quite the Discovery, this
It will help to think of Flexicare as a seriously budgeted medical plan with a few insurance and loyalty card elements. It’s not medical aid — those are governed by national regulations and are required to cover a set list of chronic conditions and diseases. This list is known as the prescribed minimum benefits or PMBs. That coverage is absent here.
Prospective clients can sign up on Discovery’s website or through Clicks’ retail stores from 16 February. The medical aid provider administers the package, Clicks provides up to 10% of premiums as cashback (if you’re a Clicks Club Card user), and Auto & General Insurance acts as the insurer for the whole thing.
Premiums start from R435/m (per person, presumably). That starting price gives you access to “…unlimited GP consultations, medicine, dentistry, eye care, x-rays, flu vaccines, maternity, health checks, blood tests, procedures in GP rooms, HIV care and private ambulance”. That sentence is a little misleadingly written — not everything on the list is unlimited. A few terms and conditions apply.
- Unlimited GP consultations: This includes both face-to-face and online doctors’ consultations, with an allocated network doctor. Members are not required to make co-payments.
- Medicine: Cover for prescribed, chronic and over-the-counter medicine.
- Dentistry: Cover for dentist visits, fillings, and tooth removals at a network dentist.
- Optometry: Cover for one eye test every year and one pair of glasses every 24 months through a healthcare provider in the optometry network.
- Blood tests and X-rays are covered when accessed through a network provider.
- Maternity cover: This includes unlimited GP consultations, medicine, blood and screening tests and ultrasound scans.
- A world-class suite of digital tools giving members a gateway to benefits, service and support on the go.
There’s also a trauma cover add-on from Discovery’s Flexicare. It covers “…additional private emergency healthcare services for the individual and all registered beneficiaries for a range of serious events including burns, car accidents, and serious head or chest injuries”. That’ll cost you R174/m (R400,000 per hospital admission) or R244/m (R1 million per hospital admission).