Standard Life Healthcare has launched Choices, designed to offer customers a complete and affordable approach to private healthcare.
Choices combines: a comprehensive PMI element with three levels of excesses, £1000, £2500 and £5000; a telephone-based support service, the Treatment Information Service; and an investment option.
By including these excesses customers can benefit from savings on their premiums of up to 80 per cent. For example, a 29 year-old person would pay a monthly premium of £15.88 with a £1,000 excess, £8.95 with a £2,500 excess, and £5.93 with an excess of £5,000. Although Choices is available for any age, younger customers can realise the greatest savings.
Excesses apply for each claim rather than for a calendar period. While this means that two concurrent conditions would result in the policyholder paying two excesses, the likelihood of this is fairly slim.
The Treatment Information Service can help customers to organise and negotiate private treatment, at prices and hospitals suitable to them. While the savings option allows people greater flexibility over their medical treatment.
Standard Life Healthcare’s managing director Mike Hall said: “For the first time people can buy a product that gives them greater control over funding and provision of their healthcare. They can save for lower cost treatments rather than wait, access private treatment at affordable prices and have the security and peace of mind of insurance for higher cost treatment of more serious conditions.”
Simon Douglas, marketing director, added: “For conditions such as cancer and heart disease people used to fall back on the NHS but recent media reports have shown that you can’t rely on it anymore.”
Douglas added that he believes Choices has a much larger potential market than traditional PMI and he saw no reason why it wouldn’t be selling more than traditional PMI in a few years.
As part of its launch offer, Standard Life Healthcare is holding its premiums until November 2001. The launch of Choices coincides with the renaming of Prime Health to Standard Life Healthcare, reflecting the strong IFA brand of its parent company.