VitalityHealth has enhanced the cancer cover on its PMI plans at no extra cost for all new and existing members. It has also introduced new discounted cancer screenings and risk assessments for some of the most common cancers.
The Standard and Upgrade cancer cover options have been combined into a comprehensive standard proposition for all new and existing plans. Once diagnosed with cancer, Vitality covers all eligible inpatient and outpatient costs in full, from radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biological, hormone and bisphosphonate therapies to cancer surgery, reconstructive surgery, stem cell therapy, follow-up consultations and more.
The change does not apply to Corporate Healthcare members where their employer has chosen lower Cancer Cover, which continues to be offered as an option.
The second element of the changes is discounts on targeted cancer screenings – a test to estimate an individual’s lifetime risk of breast cancer, as well as screening and risk assessments for cervical and bowel cancer.
Vitality says this comes at a time when screening numbers have fallen. Although cervical cancer mortality rates have decreased by up to 70% since the introduction of the NHS’s national screening programme in 1988, attendance has fallen over the last ten years and is now at a 19-year low.
For breast cancer, the NHS’s screening programme has helped reduce mortality rates in the UK by nearly two-fifths (38%) since the 1970s, but breast screening uptake in the UK has fallen slightly over the past decade.
Bowel cancer has become more prevalent amongst people under age 50 but over half of bowel cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage Vitality says.
What they say
Dr Keith Klintworth, deputy CEO, said: “These latest enhancements ensure that our care package is truly end-to-end. In addition to fully covering the cost of treatment, the additions also complement our existing cancer prevention and detection benefits – including Vitality Healthcheck and Vitality GP – plus our support throughout diagnosis and treatment in the shape of a dedicated and clinically trained Care Consultant, not to mention group support at a Champneys resort for recovering breast cancer patients.
“Our goal is to ensure all our members have access to best-in-class cancer cover while keeping our commitment to prevention, detection and early intervention.”
What we say
“The change to having just one level of cancer cover will be welcomed. Cancer cover on PMI plans is an emotive area and this change avoids customers choosing lower cover to save money now and perhaps living to regret that later.
“Screening can be valuable and having discounted screens available will appeal to some. Otherwise, Vitality’s plans continue to offer good cover with its reward-based system that helps people make better lifestyle choices.”