MediVISA is described as being a low cost innovative health insurance plan covering cancer, heart diseases, neurological conditions and other illnesses. It offers treatment not available on the NHS or in the UK at international medical facilities which offer pioneering therapies.
Underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, MediVISA offers customers and their dependents access to the latest and most advanced treatments, therapies and procedures available, including stem cell treatment, proton therapy, bone marrow and organ transplantation.
The plan offers two versions – Standard and Gold – which provide two different levels of cover for the following benefits: UK treatment, hospitalisation and care; lump sum benefit post-treatment abroad; second medical opinion; travel costs; accommodation costs; daily cash allowance (max 45 days); medications; repatriation of mortal remains; and optional UK cover.
The above benefits apply only for the following conditions (full details of each are set out in the policy document):
- Cancer treatment.
- Heart conditions.
- Neurological conditions.
- Conditions that respond to stem cell treatment.
- Live organ transplant as a donee.
- Bone marrow transplant.
Optionally, Home Country cover can be added to cover treatment in the UK too.
Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, MediVISA’s Claims and Concierge service provides a second opinion service; lump sum and daily cash beneﬁts; travel and accommodation expenses for both the insured person and a companion, and the all arrangements are directly booked, organised and paid for
A blanket moratorium applies, with any covered condition suffered in the last ten years being excluded. There is an initial 90 day waiting period and treatment must be pre-authorised.
There is an online quote and joining system and the plan is available for individuals, their families and as company employee cover.
What They Say
SecurityTrust director David Abingdon said: “MediVISA is a ground-breaking plan that makes world-class healthcare for serious illnesses within affordable reach of most people and their families. Yet MediVISA offers more than overseas care, it also gives people the option to extend their cover to include access to private UK hospitals and medical centres with prominent doctors and specialists. Policyholders and their insured family members can therefore have the choice to accept treatment abroad or at home.”
What We Say
"Critical illness (CI) insurance has long illustrated how major life threatening medical conditions can be a worry for a great many people to the extent that they are very happy to secure a financial product in case it happens to them. The solution there is to provide a cash lump sum to pay for – well, whatever the customer wants.
"On the other hand, conventional PMI (private medical insurance) will pay for hospital treatment for such illnesses, but without the add-on of often much needed cash. A comparable alternative, hospital treatment plans, are similar to PMI in some ways but only cover a selected list of (usually) surgical treatments.
"MediVISA sort of fits between CI and PMI and adds in some new features too. First, unless you opt to add Home Country cover, after diagnosis, your treatment will be in a hospital outside the UK. Before that, you will have the benefit of a medical second opinion. The insurer then gives you a list of hospitals to have the treatment and you decide which one to use. A concierge service gets you there and back, gives you a useful daily cash allowance and a £10K cash lump sum post treatment and generally looks after you. Even after that, any necessary medications are paid for too.
"Taking cancer as an example, the plan is ideal if you are diagnosed with a more serious cancer (most skin cancers and in-situ cancers are excluded) and want the best treatment and are prepared to travel abroad to get it.
"So, is this plan better than conventional PMI or CI plan cover? In some cases yes – in the cancer example, you may get access to treatments abroad that the NHS may not make available. In turn that could affect the outcome and of course it’s your life at risk – not some statistical number.
"But, and there are a few buts, there are downsides too. For example, a CI plan can provide a much larger cash sum (albeit this plan is likely to have a much higher maximum potential benefit to cover what can be very expensive treatment). PMI too will cover acute hospital treatment for virtually any condition – not just a selected few, important and high profile as those may be. And, if you are ill, would you really want to travel abroad for treatment? Of course the Home Country option gives you a choice, but that choice adds cost too.
"There are also some very serious conditions not covered by the plan. For example, a benign brain tumour can be life threatening yet would not be covered as the tumour is not malignant.
"So should you avoid the plan? No. The plan offers some very real and important advantages over other types of health insurance. In an ideal world, maybe PMI without cancer and heart cover, plus this plan, plus some CI cover would produce the best spread of benefits. But, relying on this plan alone means taking a big risk – and as many of the benefits PMI pays out on are not covered by this plan (hips, knees and oscopies being prime examples), the big risk is that the condition most likely to hospitalise you may not be covered. That said, understand exactly what you are buying and if the dice fall in such a way that you need to claim, this plan may just prove to have been your best ever health insurance buy.
"PMI-style cover with treatment abroad has been tried before (and failed) but, for the right client, this plan could meet a need that has not hitherto been met within a single insurance policy. Just don’t expect it to cover everything."