Dis-Chem launches extended health insurance – here’s how much it costs

Pharmacy retailer Dis-Chem has launched a second medical insurance offering – Dis-Chem Health Gap Cover – which provides for the payment of any shortfalls incurred during medical treatments and procedures.
In March, the group launched Dis-Chem Health, a health insurance offering with premiums starting at R431 per month for the Core plan and increasing to R591 per month for the Plus plan with additional cover options available for accident and medical emergency illness cover.
Child dependents start at R302 per month per child, while accident cover starts at R185 per month for adults and R100 per month for children.
The group said in a statement on Wednesday (11 May) that limits within the healthcare sector mean that the gap between what is covered through medical aid membership and what is for a member’s own pocket is widening.
This results in a higher rand value and frequency of medical aid shortfalls, which are often unforeseen, and which occur retrospectively.
“Traction has been strong in the two months since we launched medical insurance, and the uptake has exceeded our expectations. The success rate so far supports our view of the market and the important role that Dis-Chem plays in promoting much wider access to affordable and quality healthcare,” said Rui Morais, chief financial officer at Dis-Chem.
“Gap Cover is available to existing members of any medical aid and provides peace of mind by cushioning them against unforeseen medical treatment payment shortfalls. We are very mindful of the increased cost of living and growing financial pressures on consumers.
“A key differentiator of the Dis-Chem Health Gap Cover is that premiums are priced according to age, and on a per-person basis, rather than on a fixed cost per family unit. This pricing structure makes premiums more affordable, more widely accessible, easy to understand and transparent,” Morais said.
Two options are available:

Base: priced from R190 per month for the principal policyholder, R65 for adult dependants and R18 for child dependants under 18 years old. This is the standard Gap Cover plan that covers tariff shortfalls up to an additional 500%, sub-limits, dental reconstruction as well as Family Protector and Hospital booster benefits.

Summit: priced from R235 per month for the principal policyholder, R95 for adult dependants and R25 for child dependents under 18 years old. This is the comprehensive Gap Cover plan, offering additional benefits, including cover for oncology.

“Our healthcare focus has evolved from in-store clinics to a far broader offering including telemedicine, medical insurance and now gap cover. Dis-Chem is well-placed to play a leading role in extending access to primary healthcare to a much wider and under-served segment of the population,” Morais said
As with the initial medical insurance launch, the gap cover offering will be administered by Kaelo Risk and will be underwritten by Centriq Insurance Company Limited.
Medical insurance offers members protection against the unforeseen costs of day-to-day healthcare needs and certain accident and medical emergency illness events.
While not a medical scheme, it does not offer the same benefits as a medical scheme and is not a substitute for a medical scheme, medical insurance is a good option for those who cannot afford medical aid membership, Dis-Chem pointed out.

Read: Dis-Chem has launched health insurance – here’s how much it costs