New provider, 21st Century Health Plans has designed a private medical insurance (PMI) policy which works in partnership with National Health Service (NHS) private patients units.
The London-based provider’s Hospital Advantage Plan uses a specially negotiated national network of NHS hospitals and their private dedicated units or private amenity beds. It is only being marketed to individuals with the slogan “actively working in partnership with the NHS”.
The scheme excludes the cost of seeing a consultant privately before going into hospital, but covers the cost of related consultations after your stay.
Premiums are around £25 a month for people aged between 18 and 39.
The company says it has made its plan cheaper by cutting out some of the expensive elements of traditional PMI, such as subsidised premiums for large corporate schemes (it only insures on an individual basis) and the “out-dated claims form”.
21st Century Health Plans believes it is creating a “true public/private” healthcare partnership. It quotes National Economic Research Associates (1999) figures that every patient treated privately in the NHS produces an average surplus of £290 which is paid back into the NHS to help with funding on other areas.
Group sales and marketing director Jo Clark said: “We’re increasing the throughput in private wards and creating a true private-public partnership. The health secretary Alan Milburn has this on his desk.”
The company has also launched a hospital cash plan, called Safety Net, which will pay up to £500 a month income protection for up to three months.
The products are underwritten by Financial Insurance Company and reinsured by GE Frankona Re. 21st Century Health Plans is a member of the General Insurance Standards Council and the products are available to intermediaries.