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Free Covid-19 vaccine for all medical aid members – Discovery CEO

6 January 2021 9:01 AM

"It’s mandatory for medical schemes to pay for for the Covid-19 vaccine," says Dr Ryan Noach, CEO at Discovery Health.

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Medical schemes and the government have come up with a plan that will cover the vaccination against Covid-19 of 40% of people in South Africa.

The schemes will pay a price higher than cost, using the surplus to fund vaccines for people who are uninsured.

How they plan to reach 40%:

  • 10% of the population covered by Covax

  • 15% of the population are medical aid members, and therefore covered

  • 15% of the population covered by the surplus generated by medical aid members’ vaccinations

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Medical aid schemes must cover the cost of providing Covid-19 vaccines to its members as doing so is deemed a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB).

In other words, its “free” to the member; there is no need to tap medical savings.

Ray White (in for Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show) interviewed Dr Ryan Noach, Chief Executive at Discovery Health.

We’re delighted to support the government in an act of solidarity to try and reach that 67% target [about 40 million people vaccinated] … The first 10% of South Africans will be covered by Covax…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

About 15% of South Africans are medical scheme members. Schemes will fund from their risk funds the vaccination of members… paying a higher-than-cost price for the vaccine… the surplus will fund non-insured members of the public… All this will lead to 40% of South African being covered…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

The vaccine is now a Prescribed Minimum Benefit… it’s mandatory for medical schemes to pay for it…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

It’s been extremely disturbing to see healthy people… severely inflicted by this disease we knew nothing about a year ago… It’s heart-breaking… Hospitals are under enormous pressure and healthcare workers – they are the real heroes – are working long hours, placing themselves at risk – they’re stretched beyond ability at the moment…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

Non-Covid healthcare claims materially reduced… The net impact was that we ended up with a larger surplus… enabling us to freeze premiums up to July…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

It’s critically important that the first people to be vaccinated must be high-risk… It would be inappropriate for a young, healthy person to be vaccinated before an elderly, at-risk person…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

Manufacturers prefer to negotiate through governments… they need a single point of contact…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

Both the private and public sectors in South Africa are good at vaccine distribution. It’s a strength of our healthcare system…

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




6 January 2021 9:01 AM

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