Humana to Set Up a Health-Insurance Joint Venture with Discovery in U.S.

Humana Inc., a U.S. healthcare group, will partner with Discovery Holdings Ltd., Africa’s largest medical insurance administrator, to offer clients of the U.S. company wellness and loyalty programs.

As part of the plan, Humana, based in Louisville, Kentucky, will set up a new entity in the U.S. in which Discovery will have a 25 percent stake. Humana will also buy 25 percent of The Vitality Group, Discovery’s U.S. subsidiary, the companies said in a statement today. The value of the transaction wasn’t disclosed.

The partnership will give Humana customers access to the wellness and loyalty programs designed by Discovery and provide the Johannesburg-based insurer with the opportunity to sell its incentive plans to Humana’s 10 million medical members, the companies said. Discovery’s program in South Africa offers discounted gym memberships and subsidizes the purchase of fruit and vegetables to help the insurer lower medical claims.

Discovery posted net income of 1.42 billion rand ($197 million) for the six months through December, up from 829 million rand a year earlier, the company said in a separate statement. Sales rose 83 percent to 5.98 billion rand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicky Smith in Johannesburg at nsmith38@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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