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Picture: 123RF/ipopba
Picture: 123RF/ipopba

TymeBank, a fast-growing digital bank backed by Patrice Motsepe's African Rainbow Capital, has partnered with National HealthCare Group to bring affordable medical insurance to consumers.

The two parties have launched TymeHealth, an app-based offering that provides medical insurance for as little as R139 a month.

Health insurance products are not medical aids, but some offer gap cover for people with medical aids to cover extra doctors bills after a member is in hospital.

Usually insurance products target people who cannot afford a medical aid and provide GP and private nurse benefits as well as basic medicines, which allows a consumer to switch from using the state clinic.

“Our purpose has always been to democratise financial services and here is an opportunity to partner with a very reputable organisation that has a long track record in providing affordable primary care, to bring that to customers that for the longest time have not had affordable access,” TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan told Business Day in an interview.

“I have always been consistent in the market that what we are building at TymeBank is the ubiquitous customer engagement platform. We started with banking because that is our core business and that is the deepest relationship we can create with our customers when it comes to financial services, but then again it is about the seeing that data and using the trusted relationships to meet the broader needs.”

TymeBank is diversifying its offering. The digital bank has announced that it will be launching health insurance known as TymeHealth, in partnership with National HealthCare Group. Business Day TV spoke to ​TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan for more detail.

As a medical insurance product, the TymeHealth offering comprises three plans, each designed to cater for different life stages or needs.

The plans provide for the needs of underinsured South Africans or those looking for a supplementary day-to-day product to complement their existing hospital plan.

Consumers wanting to apply for TymeHealth need to do so using the TymeBank app, which means they must sign up as customers.

They are then prompted to choose the plan that best meets their needs. Once the application is successful, membership is activated through members’ mobile devices and they can then access more than 12,000 registered healthcare providers through the National HealthCare Group provider network.

Health providers include GPs, pharmacies, dentists and optometrists.

“Medical aid is simply too expensive for most working people, and generally, unless it is included as an employment benefit, is out of reach for the majority,” said Reinder Nauta, executive chair of National HealthCare Group.

“Until such time as the private healthcare sector does its part to remove this very real hurdle, accessibility to private healthcare will remain but a pipe dream for many individuals.”

TymeBank, founded 36 months ago, has about 4.5-million active clients. 

The National HealthCare Group was established in 2017, through investment from Patrice Motsepe’s ARC Health, to bring affordable and reliable private primary healthcare services to low-income employer groups.

Update: March 10 2022
This article has been updated with more information throughout.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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