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Berkeley Alexander adapts PMI

Berkeley Alexander has established an individual private medical insurance plan that features elements of critical illness cover and healthcare cash plans.

The plan, hospitalCARE, limits cover to key conditions and also limits the benefits up to a specific monetary amount. Annual premiums range from £153.43 to £1,022.39 and monthly premiums range from £12.79 to £85.20, depending on the age and sex of policyholders.

There are five sections to the plan which cannot be separated. Section one covers minor surgical procedures such as hip or knee replacement and pays out up to £5,000 for each claim. Section two covers major surgical procedures such as coronary artery by-pass, while the third section pays out a £5,000 lump sum if policyholders suffer with one of the 22 critical illnesses listed.

Section four provides a £5,000 lump sum in the event of accidental death, while section five provides a hospital cash benefit of £50 a day for up to 30 days after the first three days of a hospital stay.

The plan could be useful for people who cannot afford the cost of full private medical insurance and critical illness cover, but some people may prefer to select benefits themselves using modular plans such as Western Provident Association’s flexible health.

Flexible health is designed around standard cover, which includes in-patient and day-patient treatment and limited out-patient treatment. It can then be enhanced by other options, but taking out the basic level of cover is still more expensive than the Berkeley Alexander plan.

A 35-year-old male would pay £29.60 a month or £337 a year for the standard benefits of flexible health and £16.56 a month or £198.67 a year under hospitalCARE.

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