Discovery Medical Aid and Maternity Benefits – 101

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

I’ve always found medical aid a bit of a minefield and even more so when I got pregnant. Where did I need to start, what benefits were there to maximise, what birth options did I have available and what did I need to do to get my sh*t together and start adulting properly? If you are with Discovery and pregnant, or know someone who is, then this blog post is for you. *Disclaimer* I am not a medical aid adviser; this is just based on all my research and trials and errors of what I discovered when pregnant and on Discovery’s medical aid. Here’s hoping this helps you too and takes away a little of the overwhelming stress you might be feeling.


Before you get pregnant

If you are planning to get pregnant my top tip would be getting GAP cover BEFORE you fall pregnant. Most medical aid plans do not cover your full hospital bill, they generally cover 100% or 200% but private hospitals charge a lot more than this so GAP cover will cover the shortfall and ensure you aren’t left with a hefty bill at the end. GAP cover is also much cheaper than your normal medical aid (R200 to R300 a month depending on the plan you go for) so for this much it is worth getting to help with the total cost of childbirth which could run into the 1000s. You will generally need to have GAP cover for 12 months before they will cover you so keep that in mind too when trying to conceive.

When to registry your pregnancy with Discovery & Vitality

As soon as your find out. Register your pregnancy with Discovery AND Vitality (you need to register on both separately. For some bizarre reason it is not linked), then tell your friends and family. For the first 1000 days you will be eligible for additional maternity benefits so you may as well get the most out of them during this time. You can register your pregnancy on Discovery’s mobile app or online. Once you have registered, your additional benefits will be activated, and you will also be covered for your first scan / blood work etc. If you haven’t registered your pregnancy by the time you go for your 8 weeks scan you won’t be covered, so make sure you do this.  

Birth Plans & Your Options

I personally would have loved to have a water birth and home birth / birthing centre option but found the red tape and lack of Discovery’s support for anything other than a straightforward hospital birth too stressful and overwhelming to try fight. Maybe this will become more common in future as hospitals fill up, midwives are utilised more and mothers fight for options but as of 2019, I ended up opting for a lovey gynaecologist who is open to natural birth but delivers in hospital because I felt like I was already too overwhelmed just trying to survive pregnancy.

Preauthorization for your birth

You cannot necessarily book your actual hospital bed if you are planning a natural birth as you won’t know when you will go into labour but you can register at the hospital, (we did this at the hospital at 30 weeks), specify your hospital room preference (but this will depend on what is available on the day) and get all your details into the system which can take about 45 minutes and saves you doing this on the day.

To get preauthorisation click hereYou’ll need the following information:

  • Date of admission
  • Name of the hospital or clinic
  • Name of your treating doctor and anaesthetist (if available).
  • You can also call Discovery on 0860 99 88 77 if you have any questions or need assistance
  • It is useful to note that you can currently change your Discover Medical Aid Plan on 1 December so if you need to upgrade your plan to cover the hospital where your gynecologist delivers, make sure you take this into consideration.

Discovery’s Benefits and extra Maternity Perks

Netcells
You can get up to 25% discount on umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cell banking. The discount depends on the payment plan you choose and the Netcells Banking Fee. This year Netcells also had a 50% off Black Friday deal which I took full advantage of and managed to save R10,000 so it is worth checking out their Facebook page and looking out for extra deals around Black Friday and Christmas in case they have more deals.

HealthyCare Benefit
  • You can get up to 25% back on items at Clicks or Dis-Chem with the HealthyCare benefit. This saving applies to mainly baby and maternity products. You will then get 10% off the store you select as your secondary Partner. Once you've activated the HealthyCare benefit on Discover’s website, the Clicks and Dis-Chem loyalty cards will be linked to the benefit using your ID number. Your cashback will be converted into points which will be loaded on to your Clicks or Dis-Chem card. If you want to switch your current HealthyCare Benefit Partner from Clicks to Dischem for example, just follow the below steps, but note you can only change your Benefit Partner once a year.
The main member on your Vitality policy will need to be logged on to change this. Then follow the below steps. 

  1. Once logged into your profile, click on ‘Vitality’ in the navigation strip at the top of the webpage, and then click on Rewards.
  2. Click Learn More under the HealthyCare block.
  3. Scroll down and click Change Preferred Partner on the bright orange bar.
  4. Select your new preferred partner.
  • Once your baby arrives you can earn up to 2,500 points for doing the well-baby check-up at Clicks or Dis-Chem pharmacy each year.
  • Get a FREE baby bag and products from Dis-Chem. To qualify for this, follow the below steps:
o   Signup for a Dis-Chem loyalty card if you haven’t already.
o   Go in store and register your pregnancy and due date or call the Dischem Careline on 0860 347 243.
o   You will then qualify for a free baby bag once you reach your 28th week or more and have met the below criteria.
o   To qualify you will need to earn 1275 benefit points on your Dischem card. When you reach this number of points and are at 28 weeks or more a bag will be sent to your nearest Dischem store. You will be notified via SMS or email (so make sure your details are up to date beforehand). Take your ID with you to collect it. 
  • Get a FREE baby Vitality Baby gift pack and 10% off selected baby products (like prams, car seats etc.) from Toys R Us.
o   Your 10% discount card will include a unique number that will be sent to the address you include when registering for Vitality Baby. This unique card number will be valid until your Vitality policy ends. Once you have activated the benefit, the card number will also be sent to you via SMS so that you can start using the benefit while you wait for your card to be delivered.
o   You will also receive a R100 voucher to spend at Babies R Us and Toys R Us.
o   Log onto Discovery (I found going online easier to find this):
Click on “about vitality Baby” see below then enter your mobile number to be sent a code you can take with you to redeem this Vitality gift. If you are expecting multiples, you will get a Vitality gift for each baby.
o   You can also earn up to 10x more Discovery Miles when shopping at Reggies, Babies R Us and Toys R Us.

HealthyDining

  • This benefit could do with some work as there are many healthy restaurants in Durban for example that don’t feature on here (hopefully that changes!) but for now, below are the benefits you can utilize for “eating healthy” (I say that in inverted commas as I personally don’t think Nando’s is that healthy and I would like to see more vegan / vegetarian options being recognised as healthy).
  • You will get 25% cash back for eating a healthy meal at one of Discovery’s HealthyDining restaurant partners. Simply can your receipt within 24 hours to receive your cash back. Partners as of November 2019 include: Col’Cacchio, Doppio Zero, Mugg & Bean, Nando’s and Ocean Basket.
  • Link your Uber Eats account with your Vitalyty app as you will get 25% as above too!

HealthyFood

  • 25% cashback at Woolworths or Pick n Pay. You will then get 10% off your secondary partner.
  • Earn double points. Pregnant women and new mothers earn double Vitality points for HealthyFood purchases during pregnancy and until your baby is six months old.

Baby Wellness Clinic at Dis-Chem

  • Discovery Vitality members get 5000 vitality points all scheduled vaccinations for your baby.
  • Top Tip if you have a Dis-Chem card swipe it when filling up at Total and you will earn benefit points. For every litre of fuel you will earn 10 Dis-Chem Loyalty Benefit Points.

Sterkinekor
  • 50% off movies at Sterkinekor cinemas.
Being Active
  • Link your health app on your iPhone to your Discovery app so your day to day steps can be tracked to earn your points. No need for a fancy watch if you don’t have one, just utilise this to get your step counts in.
  • You will get double fitness points for every qualifying activity during pregnancy and until your baby is six months old.

Digital Cards:

  • You have a digital card you can access for your health membership and Sterkinekor card in this section
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