Subsidised vaccine rollout to cost medical schemes as much as R7bn
Discovery Health anticipates that it will cost up to R7-bn for medical schemes to fund Covid-19 vaccines for 7.1-m of their own members as well as to subsidise an equal number of nonmembers in the public sector, according to CEO Ryan Noach (BusinessLive 7 January 2021).
Noach said the funding model would entail medical scheme members paying double the price for the vaccine with the scheme donating 50% of the cost to a funding vehicle, such as the Solidarity Fund. Medical scheme members would receive the vaccine as a prescribed minimum benefit (PMB).
The cost to vaccinate 14.2-m people would range between R4-bn and R7-bn.
Though medical schemes have massive reserves - R87-bn as at the end of quarter two in 2020 - these
reserves belong to members and cannot be tapped by schemes.