A serious illness can be life-changing. That’s why we are here for you, every step of the way.


A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event that impacts many aspects of a person’s life. Learn more about how Discovery offers support and provides cover for treatment and unexpected expenses.

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event that impacts many aspects of a person’s life. From the initial shock of getting the diagnosis, to deciding on the best treatment options with one’s doctor, cancer is a difficult journey for patients and their loved ones. At Discovery, we understand that the financial uncertainties of a cancer diagnosis should be the last thing you should worry about when getting treatment. That’s why we’ve designed cancer benefits that offer comprehensive cover for your peace of mind.

Cover for medical treatment

When you’re diagnosed, your cancer specialist will discuss your treatment options with you. This may be a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. If you’re a Discovery Health Medical Scheme member, you have cover for the cost of your medical treatment through a comprehensive Oncology Programme.

Cover for unexpected expenses and when you can’t work 

A cancer diagnosis often means treatment that happens over an extended period of time, and you may need to take some time away from work to manage the side effects of chemotherapy or to recover from surgery. During this time, there may also be some unexpected expenses, for example, travel and transport costs, accommodation costs, a care-giver for children, catering for special dietary needs or necessary refurbishments to your living space.

To protect you financially, Discovery Life offers the best severe illness cover in the market for the impact of a serious illness like cancer. This includes the following benefits:

  • Income Continuation Benefit - The Income Continuation Benefit makes regular benefit payments if you are unable to work because of a serious illness. This is assessed based on the clinical severity of a patient’s illness.
  • Severe Illness Benefit – this benefit pays out a lump sum payment to offer comprehensive lifestyle protection against the impact of a severe illness. Again, this is based on the clinical severity of a patient’s illness.
  • Multiple claims – On the Classic Life Plan you can receive multiple claim payments, meaning that if your cancer returns, or if you are diagnosed with a different cancer later, you are able to claim again. This is regardless of the severity of the next claim and whether it relates to the first claim or not.
  • Capital Disability – The Capital Disability Benefit pays you a lump-sum should you become disabled. We assess disability using both objective medical criteria, (Activities of Daily Living) and your nominated occupation. 
Important information to remember about life insurance

Remember that any life cover is subject to underwriting. This means that when you apply for life insurance, your insurer will check your medical history and may exclude conditions if it shows that you already had a condition at the time of applying for cover. You must disclose all medical history-related information at the time of applying for cover. Not disclosing any medical details may impact you negatively should you need to submit a claim at a later stage related to a condition you didn’t disclose upfront.

All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower cancer patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of a cancer diagnosis. The views expressed by all of the contributing healthcare providers are their independent, professional medical opinions, aimed at supporting patients. These views do not necessarily constitute the views of Discovery Health.


The Discovery Health Medical Scheme is an independent non-profit entity governed by the Medical Schemes Act, and regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes. It is administered by a separate company, Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd, an authorised financial services provider

Learn more about dealing with cancer by listening to our Understanding Cancer podcast series

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