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Thread: vitamins-price discounts from medical insurers

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    Question vitamins-price discounts from medical insurers

    I understand that discounts provided by private medical insurance are a major driver for the vitamins and dietary supplements market in SA.

    Cannot find specific guidance online, but I'm assuming the concept is something like "a certain percentage of expenditures is reimbursable for products with NAPPI codes."

    Any guidance in this regard much appreciated...such as:

    Is there a rule of thumb percentage of discount?

    Is discount claimed at point of sale or by submitting documentation to the insurer? ...or both?

    thanks in advance, joe
    Last edited by joeleighton; 13-Jan-08 at 01:36 PM. Reason: typo

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeleighton View Post
    I understand that discounts provided by private medical insurance are a major driver for the vitamins and dietary supplements market in SA.
    I didn't even know there was anything like this...could you point us towards some further info?
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeleighton View Post
    I understand that discounts provided by private medical insurance are a major driver for the vitamins and dietary supplements market in SA.
    That would be news to me too. I seem to recall Discovery Health had a discount gym deal at some point, but vitamin discounts...

    I've heard of people buying sunglasses and suchlike on their medical aid, but that involves collusion with the pharmacist and constitutes fraud.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Question Insurance coverage for vitamins - more info

    thanks for your speedy replies.

    did some more digging & found guidance today to amway & greenworld distributors.

    http://en.world-food.com/news/show.asp?idf=255

    http://www.ecorp.co.za/Info/NAPPI%20...005%202007.PDF

    sorry, tried to send you pdf file but too large for forum rules.

    from these, i gather that NAPPI approved vitamins are 100% reimbursable thru "Discovery Health, or anyone of the many other key medical aids providers in SA" provided vitamins are purchased from a MD.

    apparently this is unique to SA. consumer groups have been pushing for this in the US with limited results.

    we distribute supplements through direct sales and this concept could make doctors a significant part of our distribution chain.

    my next step is to make contact with a South African who deals with doctors. specifically, doctors that advocate health maintenance thru diet & supplements as opposed to intervention with drugs & therapy after disease symptions have manifested. in the US, that normally means wellness, anti-aging & detox practitioners many of which are chiropractors.

    maybe i should be starting a new thread...what do you think?

    regards, joe

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    I can't really imagine that the medical aid is going to pay for the vitamins. They might be willing to reimburse you, but I reckon it would come from your medical savings account, i.e. you actually pay for it.

    Anyone happen to have more specifics about how the medical aids would handle a claim like this?
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    The way Duncan has described it is the way it works with my medical aid (KeyHealth) - however whilst I pay for these things (pain killers) out of my own money (general account), the medical scheme provides me with an annual statement of disbursements from general account which is useful (and query proof) when claiming against tax.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think this might be connected with chronic medication, which is often handled slightly differently from something like a course of anti-biotics with an expected end date to the treatment.

    If all this is true, the challenge might be getting a doctor to give a prescription for vitamins.

    I'm also wondering how much this might be affected by AIDS/HIV.

    Oh dear - I've suddenly got this vision of doctors giving prescriptions for beetroot.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    IOh dear - I've suddenly got this vision of doctors giving prescriptions for beetroot.
    You might have to change your tagline to, "There is no free watch!"
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    Question supplements for free in SA??

    Medical insurers know that usage of certain supplements leads to reduced disease and, as a result, lower insurance claims.

    So, forward thinking insurers offer rebates or reimbursements to encourage policy holders to use supplements.

    This statement was lifted from an Amway circular to distributors. "We are in the very fortunate position that in SA medical aids are willing to pay for nutritional supplements...This is unique to SA."

    The GreenWorld company in a similar circular says supplement consumers may "claim back the money they pay for their products by submitting a claim to their respective medical aids providers such as Discovery Health, or anyone of the many other key medical aids providers in South Africa."

    Amway further says "the medical aid will require a certified receipt obtainable only from the patient's doctor, dentist or pharmacist proving that they have bought the supplement for the medical practitioner in question."

    Does this not mean that supplements are available free to medical aids policy holders?

    Regards, Joe

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