New Discovery Life Clients Could Face Penalties For Not Getting Vaccinated

Discovery Life's CEO Riaan van Reenen says that clients with new policies who choose not to get vaccinated may be subject to higher insurance premiums due to the increased risk. 




As South Africa works towards herd immunity against Covid-19 through its vaccination programme, there still remains a group of people who are hesitant to receive their jab.

It is now said that those who have new insurance policies may face higher premiums if they do not opt to get vaccinated as this puts them at higher risk of getting very ill and having to be hospitalized. 

Discovery Life Insurance's Chief Executive Officer Riaan van Reenen spoke to CapeTalk about these claims, as Discovery Life has recently announced that clients who have been vaccinated can now get higher PayBacks. 

"Being vaccinated against Covid-19 is now an additional consideration in determining life insurance premiums and benefits for new clients, effective from the 29th of July 2021," said Discovery. 

"Clients with new polices who indicate that they are unwilling to be vaccinated may, unfortunately, be subject to higher premiums due to the increased risk," they said of clients hesitant about getting their jab. 

CEO, van Reenen has described the strategy as a powerful incentive. 

"What we've set out to do is to recognise that vaccinations significantly reduce the risk of contracting Covid and if you contract Covid, of getting severely ill and getting hospitalised," says van Reenen. 

He says if clients choose to get vaccinated they will increase their PayBack available on qualifying policies to give them up to the full first year of premiums back into their PayBack fund. 

"If you choose not to get vaccinated then we will underwrite you based on your underlying health conditions and depending on age, taking real life risk factors into account."-Discovery Life CEO Riaan Reenen. 

He says that Discovery Life is not taking any choices away from its clients. 

"It's really all about charging a fair price for the risk."-Discovery Life CEO Riaan Reenen. 

van Reenen says that Discovery Life wants to encourage people to get vaccinated especially those who have comorbidities and are at higher risk of hospitalization if they contract Covid-19, as it is in their best interest. 

In terms of medical aid premiums being structured in the same way van Reenen said: 

Medical scheme premiums in South Africa operate on the basis of community rating, so it's unlikely that would make its way in there in the near future, in terms of the current framework.

So far South Africa has administered just over 7 million doses of vaccines and the country plans to vaccinate 67% of the population in order to achieve herd immunity. 



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