Discovery will soon announce a number of tweaks and additions to its Vitality programme in South Africa. Most of these changes are not yet public, but Moneyweb has in its possession a copy of the summary document being distributed to brokers.
In the local context, new research by the insurer (Vitality Diamond Zones, 2016) shows that the average life expectancy of Vitality members is 81 years, versus 67 for those insured and 63 for the broader South African population. “Among highly engaged Vitality members, males currently aged 60 are 14 times more likely to live to be 100, and females 10 times more likely when compared with people who are not Vitality members”.
Importantly, there are no major points changes to Vitality in 2018. For a single member, 10 000 points are required to reach bronze, 30 000 for silver and 45 000 for gold (family tiers remain the same). Diamond status is reached after attaining gold for three years in a row. The points structure for the Vitality Health Check (nearly 300 000 of these are completed each year) and those for further checks, such as HIV, are also the same.
Fitness points awarded for the year, as well as for the weekly Active Rewards goals, are identical to those in place currently.
1.Active Rewards: new surprise rewards for streaks
Weekly rewards for hitting your goal on Active Rewards remain in place, and along with existing partners Kauai, Vida e Caffé, Mugg and Bean, and Ster Kinekor, members will also be able to choose car wash discounts (from Stop Wash) or airtime. Discovery notes that Vitality Active members are exercising 25% more, with over 1.7 million weekly rewards claimed. Team Rewards, where you could double up rewards for hitting goals along with two friends, fall away from October 28 2016. This was announced by Discovery in communication to Vitality members this week (and in the latest mobile app update).
However, Team Rewards are being replaced by Surprise Rewards as of this week which you will earn for hitting goals three weeks in a row. These include double up core rewards from existing partners, but are extended to bonus rewards (such as grocery vouchers (from Woolworths and Pick n Pay), free rides (Uber) and meals (Nando’s). There are also retail rewards from partners such as Cape Union Mart and Yuppiechef, and a chance to win grand prizes and dream holidays from travel partners.
2. Bike Booster and Device Booster
These two benefits have been introduced alongside the popular Shoe Booster which was launched for 2017. Shoe Booster rules stay the same, with up to 25% cashback up front on a pair of running shoes purchased at Sportsmans Warehouse or Totalsports with the HealthyGear benefit. Over 12 months, members can earn cashback on the remaining 75%, if they achieve their weekly fitness goals. In other words, David buys a R2 000 pair of running shoes and activates Shoe Booster. He gets R500 cashback instantly because he has completed his Vitality Age and Vitality Fitness Assessment and activated HealthyGear (this is separate from Shoe Booster). In month one, he achieves his Active Rewards fitness goal every week. This means he gets R125 back after month one. He can effectively earn the R2 000 purchase price back for hitting all four goals a month. The activation fee increases from R300 to R350.
Device Booster is structured in the same way as Shoe Booster (up to 25% cashback with ability to ‘earn’ the remaining 75% of the purchase price back over 24 months). This allows those outside of the Apple ecosystem to effectively subsidise their fitness trackers (in a similar way to Vitality’s Apple Watch benefit).
Bike Booster is capped at 25% of the first R20 000 of the retail price of a bike purchased at Cycle Lab (in other words, R5 000) and the ‘earn back’ runs over 36 months. The maximum ‘upside’ is therefore R139 a month.
Activation fees for Device Booster and Bike Booster are R350 and R350, respectively.
3. Vitality Purple
This extends the Vitality model into the traditional ‘private client’-type space. With the launch of its bank scheduled for the first half of 2018, this move is not surprising. Vitality Purple is for those members on the Discovery Health Executive Plan or Discovery Purple Life Plan, and they need to upgrade. Purple members have personal consultants and are able to get customised training programmes and discounts on things like its Executive Wellness Assessment, golf clubs and spas. Monthly fees are R399 (or R459 for the main member plus one other or R499 for the main member plus two or more).
4. Vitality Move and Vitality Active
Vitality Move is free for all members of the Discovery Health Medical Scheme. In other words, they have not joined Vitality (and are not paying the monthly contribution). The only free benefit on this programme is a chance of winning their HealthyFood shopping spend at Pick n Pay and winning back all shopping at Pick n Pay if they complete a Vitality Health Check. For R35 per month, they can get up to R100 off their monthly gym fees, up to R100 in Pick n Pay shopping rewards and up to R100 off movie tickets each month. There are qualifying criteria though.
Vitality Active is for younger members (between the ages of 18 and 30) and costs R40 per month. These members participate in the Vitality’s weekly Active Rewards programme and can earn rewards for achieving fitness and/or drive goals.
It is clear that the ‘normal’ Vitality programme is reaching a ceiling in terms of those members who are signed up, and both of these are ways of Discovery extending the methodology to drive engagement – and fitness/activity – among its broader base in South Africa.
Monthly contributions increase by 9% to 11%, depending on the number of members in a family. A single member will cost R239 per month from January (versus R219 currently), member plus one will be R289 (from R265) and member plus two or more will increase to R329 (from R296).
Its world-leading, successful Vitality programme has been exported globally to partner insurers in 14 countries (16, if you count its home markets SA and UK) and its publicly-stated ambition is to make 10 million people healthier by 2018.
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