April UK has teamed with hospital group Spire Healthcare to introduce inSpire, a private medical insurance (PMI) plan for individuals and families aged 16-74.
Launched on 14 January, it provides insured private healthcare at all Spire hospitals across the UK. There is one cover level – comprehensive – and the plan covers all in, day and outpatient care. There is no mandatory excess, although a £100 excess (per person per policy year) is available if clients want to reduce their premiums. Clients also get access to the Best Doctors service.
April’s Discount Portal enables customers to save money on everyday shopping and dining and is part of the package. One benefit of such arrangements is that they can help offset the cost of buying insurance.
Monthly premiums start at £29.39 for 16-24 year olds, rise to £35.77 for someone aged 30-34, and go up to £99.94 a month for someone aged 60-64.
A 30-34 year old choosing to have the optional £100 excess would cut their premium from £35.27 to £33.15 a month, around a 7% premium cut. Clients over age 64 are subject to full medical underwriting, but younger clients can instead choose a moratorium or switching customers can choose to have continued personal medical exclusions if they qualify under April’s switch terms.
Clients may choose to be treated in other than a Spire hospital but in such cases the plan does not guarantee to cover all costs.
What They Say
Marketing manager Isaac Lam said: “Over the last few years, PMI premium inflation has outstripped wage inflation. This has meant more and more people are being priced out of the market. We have spent the last year working closely with Spire Healthcare to create a more affordable plan – but one that still provides comprehensive benefits.”
What We Say
"Private hospitals are much in the news these days, thanks partly to the Competition Commission’s inquiry into private healthcare. So it is interesting timing that April is now tying in with Spire, one of the largest hospital groups, to offer a branded PMI plan. The arrangement has the potential to benefit both Spire and those who take out this plan.
"Competitiveness looks to be good but that really has to be tested over time. Theoretically, April should be able to secure good terms from Spire and Spire will have a direct interest in making the arrangement work, so should want to keep its pricing competitive.
"There is a risk that a client may move to an area where there is no local Spire hospital, but the group is large enough that this should not be a common occurrence. So, if you have clients who like their local Spire hospital, this is a plan well worth looking at."