Bupa has designed a private medical insurance (PMI) plan that provides cover only for cancer and heart conditions.
Bupa heartbeat heart and cancer was created after Bupa research found eight out of 10 respondents were worried about cancer and heart conditions the most. The plan covers the initial outpatient consultations and diagnosis to find out whether policyholders are suffering from these conditions. If they are, the policy will also cover whatever inpatient treatment aftercare and therapies are needed for recovery.
The company recognises that PMI can be expensive and points out that some plans which aim to be more affordable will cover a range of conditions but will exclude, for example, out-patient treatment. By making this product condition specific, Bupa has tried to make cover affordable without limiting it to certain types of treatment.
Premiums are based on Bupa's personal pricing policy because Bupa believes that a one size fits all approach is inappropriate. Factors such as age, weight, medical history and geographical status will be taken into account.
The Bupa approach differs to the modular approach that some PMI providers have used to keep costs at a minimum. For example, Securehealth's options plan has six options, one which separates basic inpatient care, specialist consultations and diagnostic tests and outpatient treatment. Policyholders who want to find out whether they have cancer or a heart condition with this policy would need to bolt on cover beyond the basic level of cover so that it covers diagnostic tests and outpatient treatment, which would increase premiums.
However, some people may prefer the Securehealth plan because it covers them for a range of conditions, which would be more appropriate than the Bupa plan if they suffer from an illness other than cancer or heart conditions.