Oasis is a hybrid health/protection insurance product that pays cash lump sums for serious illness and major medical expenses and also has a hospital cash benefit:
- Serious illness. This pays a £15,000 cash lump sum on being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, cancer, heart attack, or stroke. The policy can continue after a claim is made, although there are some restrictions e.g. a heart attack following a stroke (or vice versa) would result in payment being halved for the second condition (or no second payment if within the first 45 days). Congenital, hereditary, pre-existing and related conditions are excluded.
- Major medical expenses. There are three benefit bands and the policy pays out £1,500 for surgical procedures in band 1, £3,000 for band 2 and £5,000 for band 3 procedures. This should cover the cost of many but not all procedures and does not cover other hospital costs e.g. for out-patient treatment or other benefits usually included in private medical insurance policies.
- Hospital cash. This pays £25 a night for each night hospitalised, up to 20 nights a year.
The plan is available to UK citizens aged 18 to 74 and dependent children (under 21 or 25 if in full-time education) may be included free of charge.
Exclusions are fairly standard and there is a 5/2/2 year rolling moratorium applied to the major medex and hospital cash benefits.
What They Say
Assistant underwriter Dale Tranter said: "The plan could be appropriate for clients who would like private medical insurance [PMI] but are struggling to afford full cover. It is also a suitable downsizing product for existing clients struggling to continue to afford PMI."
What We Say
"This plan effectively brings together three types of benefit – critical illness (CI), PMI and health cash plans - at an affordable price. However, each has been cut down in order to meet pricing criteria – and it is those compromises that will determine how valuable the plan’s benefits are perceived to be.
"For example, the serious illness benefit levels are fairly low and only cover four conditions; the major medex benefits will cover many but not all procedures (and no other hospital costs) while the hospital cash benefit is just that and does not cover the most popular benefits for health cash plans such as optical and dental costs. That all helps to keep things simple, but the danger is that the resulting cover is just too far below what many people would want – and we fear that is the case here.
"However, the basic idea behind the product is sound and there is potential to develop it to provide a wider and more useful range of benefits. Having a CI benefit limited to £15,000 is low, compared to the industry norm, but as most people have no CI cover, this has the advantage of bringing at least some cover to a new group of customers."