African Rainbow Capital-controlled digital bank TymeBank is expanding into the medical insurance space, with a plan to offer South Africans access to private healthcare services starting at R139/month.
TymeBank said the offering, called TymeHealth, will be entirely app-based and will be offered in partnership with National HealthCare Group. It said the offering is aimed at getting more South Africans onto medical insurance plans.
“Statistics show that just 8.9 million South Africans are covered by a medical scheme, with the high costs of contributions making membership of a medical aid unaffordable for most of the population,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The TymeHealth offering comprises three plans, each designed to cater for different life stages or needs, it said. “The plans provide for the needs of underinsured South Africans or those looking for a supplementary day-to-day product to complement their existing hospital plan.”
Consumers wanting to apply for TymeHealth need to do so using the TymeBank app, which means they must sign up as customers of the digital banking platform. They are then prompted to choose the plan that best meets their needs.
Once the application is successful, membership is activated through members’ mobile devices and they can then access about 12 000 registered healthcare providers, including GPs, pharmacies, dentists, optometrists, specialists and hospitals, through the National HealthCare Group provider network.
The available plans are:
- MediClub Connect for R139/month
- MediClub Premier for R299/month
- MediClub Elite for R399/month
The basic Connect plan offers medical advice from qualified nurses or GPs via WhatsApp. Policyholders will be referred to a National HealthCare Network GP “when required”.
The Premier and Elite plans allow policyholders to use any network GP for unlimited consultations “as and when required”. WhatsApp consultations with qualified nurses are also available. These two plans also offer a range of services, such as basic optometry, that are not available on the entry-level scheme.
More details about each plan are available on the TymeBank website.
TymeBank’s launch into the medical insurance industry comes three months after Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings invested in the digital-only. UK development finance institution CDC Group invested at the same time, taking the bank’s series-B capital raise to US$180-million.
The investments from Tencent and CDC were valued at an additional $70-million, TymeBank said in December.
“CDC’s investment in Tyme in South Africa is part of its strategy to support businesses that provide vital infrastructure, such as digital financial services, to traditionally underserved groups,” TymeBank said.
The first part of Tyme’s series-B raise was concluded earlier in 2021 when it secured $110-million from Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, and the Gokongwei’s JG Summit Holdings.
Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital remains Tyme’s majority shareholder. The bank has acquired four million customers as of December 2021. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media