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Which Discovery Health Saver option is best if you happen to live in the Cape or Kwazulu-Natal?

It’s not quite as simple as you might think. Here’s why:

I got an email last week which went something like this.

“I’d like to upgrade to the Discovery Health Classic Delta Saver option next year.”

I’m thinking: “Classic Delta Saver? Are you crazy? I’d have chosen the Coastal Saver?

So I open up my trusty Discovery Health spreadsheet to find out out which one of us was losing our minds. Turns out, both of us!

Click on image to enlarge


  • The first thing you’ll notice is the dividing line between the “Classic” plans and the “Essential/Coastal” plans. That’s because the Classic options pay 200% of the Discovery Health Rate (DHR) for in hospital expenses relating to specialists while the Essential plans pay 100% of the DHR. Choosing a plan to the left of the dividing line is generally better if you can afford it.
  • The next thing I looked at was the cost of each plan. The Classic Delta Saver costs R1, 872 a month for a single member in 2016 compared to the R1, 862 a month for the Coastal Saver. Much of a muchness, but remember that the Classic Delta Saver pays 200% of the DHR versus 100% on the Coastal Saver. So now the question is, “Why is the Coastal Saver so expensive and offering so little in return?

So why is the Coastal Saver so expensive?

Remember that earlier I said it’s better to be to the left of the dividing line? Well, there are two reasons for that:

  1. The plans on the right (Essential and Coastal) only pay 100% of the DHR, and
  2. The Essential plans on the right, pay 15% of the monthly contribution towards your medical savings account (MSA) while those on the left contribute 25%.

But the Coastal Saver is the one exception. While it only covers you at 100% of the DHR, it also contributes 25% towards your MSA.

So if you look right at the bottom of the spreadsheet, you’ll see that the Classic Delta Saver offers you an MSA of R5, 616 for the year versus the Coastal Saver offering R5, 580 for the year. MSA, if you don’t know, is what pays for your doctor visits, dentists, over the counter medicines, and spectacles.

But still…why would someone choose the Coastal Saver option over the Classic Delta Saver?

First, let’s take a quick look at what each plan has going for it.

Classic Delta Saver plan:

  • 200% of the DHR
  • R5, 616 available in your MSA for the year, and
  • Costing R1, 872 monthly

Coastal Saver plan:

  • 100% of the DHR
  • R5, 580 available in your MSA for the year, and
  • Costing R1, 862 monthly

No brainer, right? I mean, who wouldn’t go for the Classic Delta Saver?
Turns out, it all boils down to hospital choices.

Let’s take the Western Cape for instance.
The Classic Delta Saver limits you to five hospitals while the Coastal Saver allows the use of any Coastal hospital

Click on the full list here:

Discovery Health Saver

So why choose Coastal Saver?


  • A wide range of hospitals is available in all four the coastal provinces. Think of the poor guy in the Eastern Cape who gets only one option on the Classic Delta Saver plan.
  • A much larger MSA is available on the Coastal Saver plan than on any of the Essential Saver options, and
  • at a much cheaper cost than the Classic Saver which, besides the Essential Saver, is the only plan allowing you to choose any hospital, anywhere in the country.

But there is one catch…

You’re limited to using coastal private hospitals only. Having a planned procedure done in any of the inland provinces would mean Discovery Health paying only 70% of your bill.

But then again, using a coastal hospital is not a bad thing. According to the Discovery Health Patient Survey Score (PASS), nine of South Africa’s best hospitals are in the Cape, and five in Kwazulu-Natal.

Check it out for yourself – Patient Survey Score.

Regardless of whether you’re on the Discovery Health Classic Saver or the Coastal Saver, we’d recommend you take out medical gap cover anyway. Medical gap cover raises the 100% or 200% of DHR right up to 500% of the DHR depending on which gap cover company you choose.

In closing…

The Classic Delta Saver makes a lot more sense if the Delta hospitals suit you. With Delta networked hospitals, you aren’t restricted to using only the Delta hospitals in the four coastal provinces – you can use an inland Delta hospital too. You also have the option of using any private hospital as long as you’re willing to make the R6, 450 co-payment in 2016.

The Coastal Saver makes more sense if you’d like the option of using a private hospital not on the Delta network. Only thing is, it has to be a private hospital in one of the four coastal provinces.

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Until next time.

The InsuranceFundi Team


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