Exeter Friendly Society has established the shared care plan, a
menu-based private medical insurance plan that aims to reduce
premiums by allowing for part payment of costs by the policyholder.
The plan offers a core package of inpatient and day-patient benefit,
which includes hospital charges, specialist services, oncology, and
overseas cover. Policyholders can then add option A and option B.
Option A provides enhanced outpatient benefits such as specialist
c0nsultations and diagnostic tests, while option B covers additional
expenses such as private ambulance and complementary therapy.
Unlike some plans, once the policyholder joins his or premiums will
not increase with age.
To enable policyholders to get the best prices for treatment, Exeter
Friendly Society provides access to a treatment sourcing service
through Go Private.
At the outset, policyholders can choose to pay either 25 per cent or 50
per cent of the cost of treatment. This is different to plans which have
a choice of excess as these plans require the first £100, £1,000 or
whatever the level of excess to be met by the policyholder. With the
shared care plan, the cost of each expense is shared. For example, if
a consultant's fee is £80, plans with £100 excess would require the
policyholder to foot the bill in full. Under shared care, they would
either pay £20 or £40, depending on whether they had opted to pay
25 per cent or 50 per cent of costs.
Western Provident Association's self pay protect is a similar product
covering inpatient and day-patient hospital treatment, but outpatient
benefits are limited to treatment received up to 90 days after hospital
A 35 year old male requiring cover with a 50 per cent co-payment
would pay £111.45 a year with WPA and £19.82 a month with Exeter
for the core package and option B - which works out £237.84 a year.