More about the 2021 deferred contribution increase freeze and once-off plan upgrades available


This article tells you about the scheme contribution increase that was frozen for half of 2021, and what to expect from July 2021 - including plan upgrades.

Discovery Health Medical Scheme was the first and only open medical scheme to freeze contribution increases for 2021, and to put off the increase in contributions for 2021 by six months to 1 July 2021. The contribution freeze offered members much-needed financial relief by taking advantage of the additional Scheme reserves that arose from stoppages in the use of healthcare during 2020.

Contribution increase from July 2021

The contributions for all Discovery Health Medical Scheme plans will increase by 5.9% on 1 July 2021. The increase recognises the full impact of medical inflation on the Scheme. It makes sure that the Scheme can offer affordable contribution increases in 2022 and beyond, which are expected to be below market averages. By us deferring the contribution increase to 1 July 2021, members saved more than R2.2bn and will only experience an increase of 2.95% in their total contributions paid to the Scheme during 2021.

Financial relief for members

The economic impact of COVID-19 has reduced the average income of South Africans by 26%. This has placed substantial financial pressure on members during a time where access to private healthcare is highly valued. Through the 2021 period of no contribution increase, Scheme members paid 2020 contribution rates for half of 2021, while all benefit increases and enhancements were effective from 1 January 2021. Added together, this saved members R2.2 billion in lower contributions.

Enhanced value and competitive advantage

Over time, Discovery Health Medical Scheme has offered its members greater value through contribution increases that have been consistently lower than the industry average. The 2021 contribution increase freeze reinforced this competitive position by offering members 2021 benefits at 2020 rates for six months. This created the lowest weighted average contribution increase for Discovery Health Medical Scheme members across the open-scheme market for 2021.

Increases in Medical Savings Accounts (MSA)

All members on plan options with an MSA (Medical Savings Account) will have a 5.9% increase in their MSA contributions and enjoy a matching increase in their MSA balance from 1 July 2021.

Mid-year upgrade allowed for 2021

Members will be allowed a once-off concession to upgrade to any Discovery Health Medical Scheme option effective 1 July 2021.

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