BUPA has launched a cash plan at a time when the cash benefits market continues to soar.
The launch follows BUPA’s purchase of the Coventry-based healthcare cash plan company Mercia Health Benefits, last June.
The new scheme will replace the existing BUPA product HealthCash and also the Mercia Cash Plan. Customers who already hold these plans will be able to renew their policies under the new BUPA Cash Plan.
A spokesman from BUPA said: “We reviewed the last product and created a bigger, better more competitive product with a much wider appeal. It also has added benefits such as cover for infertility treatment, occupational therapy and dietary care.”
The plans will be available to individuals and families and subscriptions start at £1.55 a week. BUPA has confirmed that the plan can be sold through brokers.
Keith Cunningham, head of BUPA Cash, is confident that the product will prosper in an already thriving market: “This will provide tough competition to other plans in the market. Through our existing channels, we feel we can increase our market share significantly through this scheme.”
HSA is currently the market leader in cash plans, with a turn over of £129m. Janet Whiteley, marketing manager, direct business, is confident that BUPA will not affect HSA’s market portion: “Clearly BUPA has brand awareness. But I think the market place will see BUPA as PMI providers and our research indicates that members prefer a cash plan provider.”
HSA feels it has the edge over BUPA’s plan as it offers benefits to the older market. “We do not have the restrictions that BUPA do in terms of age,” said Whiteley. “HSA customers can join at the age of 70 but BUPA will only take members aged up to 59.”