ROB ROSE: Discovery’s painful situation
Discovery may be SA’s largest open medical scheme, but it’s battling a rising swell of costs which it can’t afford to pass on to members
You might not know it from its slick new R3bn head office in Sandton, but the Discovery Health Medical Scheme has had a rough year. Last year, SA’s largest open medical aid scheme collected R64.4bn in contributions from its 2.8-million members.
But after deducting costs like "administration" and broker fees, it turned in a negative R352m as a "net health-care result". Thankfully, it made some handy investment income, which allowed it to post a surplus of R816m — effectively the "profit" made by the medical aid. (Because medical schemes are "not for profit" entities, the quaint terminology used cloaks a profit as a "surplus", and speaks of a loss as a "deficit".)