Discovery Ltd. is an innovative insurance company that was founded over 20 years ago. Today, its core purpose – making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives – is central to its shared-value business model.

When Discovery was founded in 1992, the complexity of the South African healthcare environment at the time provided a powerful incubator for innovation. South Africa’s high disease burden, an undersupply of doctors, and the vision of changing the way healthcare works required a new framework for addressing healthcare challenges. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention, as opposed to healthcare during illness, offered such a framework.

Incentivizing Behavior Change to Bring Down Insurance Costs

As reflected in its business model, Discovery’s focus has always been on placing the needs of society at the core of its strategy. Discovery designs its innovative insurance products around its shared-value approach, which manifests in its health-promoting integrated insurance programme, Vitality.  These products use behavioral economics to translate positive behavior into immediate rewards, which in turn inspire long-term positive behavior change. Changed behavior results in lower insurance costs, and the savings are used to fund incentives that encourage the positive change in behavior. Members benefit from better health, increased insurance value and financial rewards; the insurer benefits from lower costs, and customer loyalty and retention.

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