Standard Life Healthcare has amended its hospital lists to minimise the effect of private medical insurance (PMI) premium rises.
From 16 November, customers will be able to choose from four lists that include over 500 hospitals in total. Because Standard Life Healthcare has secured preferential rates, and the lists reflect genuine hospital charges, people can exercise greater control over their healthcare costs by choosing the list that best suits them.
Letters explaining these changes will go out from October. The insurer has already run seminars during September to inform specialist intermediaries of the situation, with more sessions scheduled for October.
Of the four lists, Countrywide is the basic package with over 450 private hospitals across the country, including Bupa, Nuffield, and Community. Countrywide London Upgrade is the same list tailored for London dwellers, offering eight of the capital’s most popular private hospitals.
For people that live too far away from the facilities on the Countrywide list, or just want access to a hospital not on it, the Extended Hospital List offers a choice of over 500. Once again there is also a London Upgrade option that gives access to every private hospital in central London.
Standard Life Healthcare managing director Mike Hall said: “Hospital charges make up a significant proportion of our total claims cost. When we reviewed our hospital lists last year, it became clear that there are considerable variations in the costs charged by hospitals and that this difference is making the cost of insurance higher than it needs to be for some people. All the hospitals on our lists have offered very competitive rates.”
Specialist PMI intermediary Andrew Green said: “Although some brokers might feel these lists amount to hospital networks and restrict customer choice, they actually increase it. If you ask people if they would choose to pay lower premiums for access to a list of hospitals they know they will use, most of them would. This is certainly a logical step in the right direction.”