(Miguel Á. Padriñán, Pexels)
(Miguel Á. Padriñán, Pexels)
  • Discovery medical scheme will increase prices by an average of 9.5% in 2020, after increasing its member contributions by 9.2% in 2019. 
  • Discovery said the increases are below the medical inflation rate. 
  • The average increases are also skewed towards more expensive plans. 
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories. 

The non-profit Discovery Health Medical Scheme member contributions will increase by an average of more than 9% for the second year running, the medical scheme said on Monday morning. 

Discovery Health, South Africa's largest private medical scheme, said fees across its plans will see a total increase of 9.5% in 2020, after increasing fees by 9.2% in 2019.

The increase will range between 8.9% and 10.9%, depending on what plan a member is on. 

The cost of Discovery Vitality, a reward programme based on achieving fitness goals, will also increase by 8%. 

Discovery said the increases are below the expected medical inflation rate, which its own calculations show to range between 10.5% and 12.5% for 2019. 

This is due to the positive effect Vitality has on consumer behaviour and health which reduce medical inflation for Discovery Health members by 1.6%, the insurer said. 

Also read: 'Hello world': Discovery says it accidentally sent a message to clients out of excitement

Nozipho Sangweni, Discovery Health principal officer, said the increases allow it to maintain and enhance benefits, while allowing for the increases in the demand and increase in cost of existing benefits. 

Discovery Health said the increases are skewed to the higher-end plans, with those in the Comprehensive range and the Executive plan increasing by 10.9%. 

Discovery said only 19% of its members will have the 10.9% increase, while 60% of members will have an 8.9% increase.