Cignpost’s PDI product is marketed as an alternative to PMI and effectively pays for diagnostics only, with an overall annual plan limit per person of £5,000. Benefits are:
- Outpatient or day case diagnostic investigations and consultations with a specialist: Full refund.
- Of which there is a therapeutic action limit of £500.
- MRI, CT and PET scans: Full refund.
Cignpost adds that a full refund is valid if the diagnostic investigation costs are reasonable and customary. The full refund must also be within any section or overall scheme limits. Pre-existing conditions within the past five years (ten years for cancer) are not covered.
What they say
Chief operating officer Paul Foody said: “We’re proud that our Private Diagnostics Insurance product is not only providing accessible private healthcare but is also working with the NHS, delivering a continuous care pathway for our members.
At the heart of the product is our team of specialist nurses, who offer personalised guidance and help to facilitate movement between the private and State systems. We are delivering peace of mind to our members, ensuring a quick private diagnosis and an efficient transition back into the NHS for treatment, when needed, all underpinned by ongoing nurse support.”
What we say
One of the big issues for PMI is the cost and sustainability of the product – despite its obvious advantages and desirability. PMI cover is also a highly valued employee benefit, although usually only provided free to higher paid staff.
Budget options usually focus around paying for treatment but often exclude most or all outpatient treatment, including diagnostics.
Cignpost’s PDI plan takes a different approach, excluding treatment but paying for diagnostics. There is good reason for that – one of the frustrations of NHS waiting lists is that they can apply at any and every stage, while many people who undergo tests then simply do not need hospitalisation or treatment. For employers, an employee anxiously waiting for tests or having to pay for them themselves may well be an unproductive employee, with all the knock-on costs that implies.
PDI requires a GP referral and excludes most pre-existing conditions but offers a £5k pot to pay for any tests, plus can help the employee find an appropriate diagnostic clinic. It’s a low cost solution and, if treatment is needed, the employee can switch back to the NHS and should save time overall, or they can pay for private treatment.
If wider cover is needed, Cignpost can offer PMI cover too plus its Health Membership support service. In this way, an employer can select the covers it wants to meet its budget spend. Our rating reflects the product on a standalone basis but, combined with the other covers, the value to an employer could be even greater.