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About Discovery Health


Discovery Health is South Africa’s largest administrator of medical schemes

Discovery Health is the leading medical scheme administrator in South Africa, providing administration and managed care services to over 3.2 million beneficiaries. The business has a market share of over 38% in the overall medical scheme market in South Africa, and manages 17 restricted medical schemes on behalf of leading corporate clients, as well as Discovery Health Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest open medical scheme.

Shared-value benefits and unique features of Discovery Health

The success of Discovery Health is due to our ability to offer a fully integrated, value-driven healthcare operating system to our clients, centred on meeting the full spectrum of healthcare needs of client medical schemes. Discovery Health successfully operates beyond traditional administration and managed-care services, and provides ongoing product innovation, best-in-class service excellence, effective claims risk and fraud management, as well as the coordination and management of the quality of clinical services accessed by our clients. We deploy world-class actuarial, analytical, clinical, and research and development capabilities at every point in the medical scheme product cycle.

At the heart of Discovery Health’s drive to make people healthier is Vitality. Through Vitality, Discovery Health can offer members of client medical schemes innovative solutions that help address their health risks and make them healthier, in line with the Vitality Shared-Value Insurance business model.


Discovery’s shared-value approach enables a value-based healthcare system that lowers healthcare costs, resulting in lower contributions compared to competitors, and measurable improvements in the quality of care. These are reflected in superior outcomes for members of client medical schemes, namely lower morbidity and mortality rates, lower hospitalisation rates and shorter hospital stays. The success of the model is also demonstrated by the sustained strong performance of Discovery Health Medical Scheme, and of the restricted medical schemes under our management.

To address the many challenges in the current healthcare environment, and to deliver on our mandate of providing a fully integrated healthcare management system for clients, Discovery Health continues to develop unique assets and products. Recent developments and enhancements include:

Discovery HealthID

Discovery HealthID is South Africa’s first and most extensive digital healthcare platform for doctors. It enables them to access their patients’ electronic health records through an iPad or a computer. HealthID provides doctors with a more complete view of patients’ medical history and test results. This ensures better integration and coordination of healthcare, reduces the likelihood of serious medical errors and duplication or unnecessary tests. Its value-add has resulted in increased engagement from members and healthcare professionals. HealthID is now in regular use by over one million members and almost 50% of doctors treating members of Discovery Health’s client schemes.

Personal Health Programmes

These programmes incentivise general practitioners (GPs) as well as members with diabetes or heart disease, to work together to improve the quality of care and the quality of life for patients. Since the programme’s start in 2015, and as a result of the improved health of enrolled members, we have recorded a significant reduction in specialist visits, hospital admissions, re-admissions and casualty visits by medical scheme members with these conditions.

Discovery HomeCare

Discovery HomeCare is a unique home-based healthcare service for medical scheme members that offers high-quality nursing and care-worker support in the comfort of the patient‘s home. Not only does Discovery HomeCare offer support and convenience for patients with specific conditions, it also helps achieve savings in healthcare costs with treatment being rendered in the convenience of the member’s home. This reduces the rate of hospital admissions.

Innovations and key milestones

  • 2015

    • Introduces Healthy kids with Kids EHR
    • Launches personalised medicine with My DNA and genomics
    • Introduces voice biometrics
  • 2014

    • Launches functionality to make video call consultations and online doctor bookings
    • Launches Cleveland clinic 2nd opinion
    • Launches HealthyCare
    • Launches Personal Health Programmes
    • Launches Discovery HomeCare
  • 2013

    • Launches telemetry
    • Launches the Discovery app for members on Android
  • 2012

    • Introduces ChroniCare
  • 2011

    • Launches Discovery MedSaver
    • Launches the Full Cover Choice
    • Launches HospitalXpress
    • Launches MedAdvisor
    • Launches MaPS
    • Introduces HealthID
  • 2010

    • Launches Discovery MedXpress
    • Launches the Discovery app for members on iPhone
    • Launches cellphone provider search tool
    • Launches integrated care unit, a first in SA
    • Launches trauma counselling benefit
  • 2007

    • Attains another industry first: becomes the first private healthcare funder with two million lives under administration
  • 2006

    • Enters into direct payment arrangements with healthcare professionals
    • Offers USSD functionality for healthplan and claims information for medical scheme members
  • 1996

    • Enters the restricted (closed medical schemes) access market
  • 1993

    • Introduces the first consumer-driven healthcare plans, incorporating actuarial risk management and a Medical Savings Account underpin
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