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Leading health insurer’s ambition to help create a healthier Africa continues to gain momentum

28 February 2024 Discovery

Leading health insurer’s ambition to help create a healthier Africa continues to gain momentum

Vitality Health International, the innovative health insurer that provides leading healthcare solutions to employers in Africa, has announced additional benefits, improved access to accredited healthcare provider networks, and a new health insurance plan to further broaden access of comprehensive healthcare solutions. The new solutions help to reinforce Vitality Health International’s core purpose of making people healthier while enhancing and protecting their lives.

Vitality Health International has a presence in seven markets on the continent (this excludes South Africa which is administered by the Discovery Health), including Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and more recently, Ghana and Tanzania.

Broadening Vitality Health International’s suite of benefits and deepening provider network access
Among the slew of new offerings from Vitality Health International, it has also announced a new entry level healthcare cover product, the Start Plan, as well as expanding the roots of their local, regional and international healthcare provider networks.

“The Start Plan is aimed at expanding healthcare access across the entire workforce which is specifically being made available for entry level staff. We now have holistic healthcare plans that provide world-class healthcare from entry level, through to executive employees, as well as for expatriates,” explains Emma Knox, CEO of Vitality Health International: Africa. “Our plans are available in both United States Dollars (USD) and in local African currencies. So, whether employees are looking for local cover defined in local currency or expatriates looking for international cover defined in USD, we have got all employees covered.”

Since launching in January 2022, and particularly over the past 12 months, Vitality Health International has been rapidly expanding its local healthcare provider networks to offer the best access to healthcare for members on the continent.

“Vitality Health International has built one of the broadest continental networks, ensuring members have access to health insurance all over the continent,” says Knox. “Our business is focused on providing quality, healthcare solutions which are tailored to the unique needs of the African market, that simultaneously reward people for healthy living.”

Effective 01 January 2024, Vitality Health International members will now be able to access extensive provider networks locally, regionally across the African continent, and is partnering with organisations globally, making it possible for our members to access healthcare wherever they are.

Vitality Health International pioneers the First-To-Market Vitality Malaria Benefit
In its continued drive to enhance and protect people’s lives through its shared-value model of healthcare insurance, Vitality Health International is proud to announce it is the first insurer to offer the Vitality Malaria Benefit to the African market.

“It’s well-known that malaria has a devastating impact on populations. African countries sadly carry a hefty case load of malaria incidence. As much as 95% of total malaria cases recorded worldwide are diagnosed and treated across the African continent, with 80% of deaths caused by malaria in Africa tragically being children under the age of five years’ old,” explains Knox.

“With this new benefit, we aim to make a significant contribution to reducing malaria incidence rates through our growing member base, and by doing so, significantly reduce the cost of diagnosis and treatment. This way, we’ll be promoting a healthier workforce with significantly improved overall well-being.”

The Vitality Malaria Benefit will be available across all Vitality Health International health plans and includes a rapid diagnostic test for employers to make available for their employees. Over-the-counter medication will also be made available where a positive result is picked up. “Our members will now be able to self-test, getting their results within minutes. This will help them to seek out a quicker diagnostic process via a qualified healthcare provider and get effective treatment sooner,” explains Knox.

“These tests are effective for diagnosing mild to moderate cases and are significantly more cost-effective. Conventional diagnosis and subsequent treatment involve a consultation with a healthcare professional and completing pathology tests – both of which come at a cost. Expenses can then be reduced considerably, alleviating any financial burden for members,” she adds further.

Another key objective of this benefit is to incentivise the use of these rapid diagnostic tests and make them readily available. “These tests will be available as part of our Vitality Wellness Day screenings at employer premises. Insights from our wellness days will be shared with employers as a way of providing educational support to members and their dependants and reducing the overall malaria burden for companies,” Knox continues.

The Vitality Malaria Benefit dovetails perfectly with Vitality Health International’s partnership with Goodbye Malaria, with the aim of achieving zero malaria in our lifetime.

"Goodbye Malaria has been working for over a decade already to bring an end to this devastating disease,” says Knox. “We are joining these laudable efforts to make sure that malaria becomes a part of our history, once and for all,” Knox adds.

Providing an important layer of additional cover for when you need it most
Vitality Health International also announced a life-changing supportive benefit, Vitality Standby-U cover.

The Vitality Standby-U cover benefit addresses a needed gap in the market by offering a holistic return to wellness following the loss of a loved one. “Challenges involve losses on multiple levels and so physical, emotional and financial support in the immediate aftermath can be enormously helpful,” says Knox. “And we have access to partners who can help us to alleviate any struggle or burden for members and their families.”

The benefit provides financial support in the form of a lump-sum payment and a data and voice bundle in partnership with MTN and Vodacom. Emotional and physical health support is offered through Healthy Company, Discovery’s digitally enabled employee assistance programme and wellness solution. Members will have access to support for a period of 3 months after the loss of their loved one.

“The loss of someone close to you can be quite traumatic and disruptive to a family’s household. Such support ensures that costs like funeral and transportation expenses, and the necessary arrangements that can be made with additional data and airtime are well covered. In addition, emotional and physical support can be provided with care and consideration too. The benefit provides financial stability and emotional care at a time it’s most needed,” Knox adds. “This can be invaluable for our members, as well as for us as a business: to know that our members are well taken care of in every way possible,” she concludes.

Knox concludes that “We are confident that Vitality Health International’s new offerings will amplify quality healthcare access across the African continent, and beyond. While we continue to expand our footprint in Africa, underpinned by our shared-value insurance model where we encourage people to make healthier choices a habit and shift behaviours to maintain and improve good health.

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