21st Century Health Plans has introduced the hospital advantage
plan, an individual private medical insurance (PMI) plan that aims to
provide affordable cover for hospital treatment.
This is a budget plan designed for people facing lengthy hospital
waiting lists who find that PMI is often expensive. It operates through
a public private partnership between 21st Century Health Plans and
selected NHS hospitals. Policyholders are given access to private
NHS facilities at a negotiated rate and the money generated from this
is ploughed back into the NHS.
Premiums increase with age and range from £176.27 a year for
children under 18 to £692.87 a year for adults between 60 and 64.
Claims are authorised over the phone and this helps keep the costs
The benefits are divided into three categories, in-patient and
day-patient treatment, out-patient treatment and additional benefits.
The first category includes the cost of hospital accommodation,
medicines and dressings, consultants' fees and psychiatric
treatment. These benefits are also included on an out-patient basis,
but only if they follow a hospital stay. Additional benefits include the
cost of parent accommodation when accompanying a child and the
cost of a private ambulance.
Norwich Union's individual personal care is a similar budget PMI
plan that does not cover psychiatric treatment at all or physiotherapy
and consultants' fees on an out-patient basis. However, it has more
additional benefits like maternity cash and if premiums are paid for
an adult and the eldest child, any remaining children are covered
Norwich Union's plan is also more expensive. Premiums for
policyholders between 20 and 39 are £417.94 a year. This compares
to £264.47 for the same age group with 21st Century Health