This plan (MRECP for short) is the first in a range of plans and is a variation on the surgical cash format. It offers a choice of four cover levels and is available to individuals and employers, both online and through brokers. Each level of plan pays a cash lump sum based on the expected recovery time from a particular operation or medical procedure. There are four recovery levels:
A: Recovery and return to light work in a few days.
B: Recovery and return to light work in up to two or three weeks.
C: Recovery and return to light work in a period of up to two months.
D: Prolonged recovery.
A schedule of procedures, based on OPCS codes, sets out which benefit level (A, B, C or D) is paid on undergoing that procedure. For example, someone going into hospital for varicose vein surgery (a B classification procedure) would receive £500 on a Level 1 plan to £2,000 on a Level 4 plan. A limb amputation would see up to £10,000 paid.
The plan can also be used to supplement other health insurances and MediCheque says benefit payments could be used to pay for childcare, to replace income or for a range of other purposes.
Level 1 plans pay out £250 (operation classification A), £500 (B), £1,000 (C) and £4,000 (D), while Level 4 plans pay out £400, £2,000, £4,000 and £10,000. In addition, plans pay up to £2,000 for radiotherapy, £4,000 for chemotherapy and £4,000 for a heart attack. There are annual limits on multiple claims (max three a year) and only one cancer claim can be made in a customer’s lifetime.
An initial moratorium period applies (three years back, two years forward rolling moratorium). Some exclusions apply (including pregnancy; childbirth; dental procedures; cancer recurrence, and cosmetic surgery).
Partners can be included, as can children, but only once they reach age one. Plans are available to UK residents (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) aged 18 to 70.
What They Say
Managing director Dominic Higham said: “A cash injection to cover reduced income and expenses to meet everything from travel and parking fees to childcare costs will alleviate the worry for the self-employed and low wage earners who may not qualify for state help.”
What We Say
"It’s not often we review something radically new, but this plan is. Uniquely, benefit is linked to likely recovery time after hospitalisation. Being a capital sum, it will not affect income protection (IP) benefits and can also be used as an add-on to various other protection covers. The concept also has scope to be expanded to cover other areas (mental health and musculoskeletal conditions are the main causes of IP claims but would mostly not result in a payout from this plan for example).
"It is not a replacement for IP though; not least because it only pays after a specified treatment or procedure."