The plan is menu-based, allowing policyholders to add benefits to the core element or reduce these benefits, so they only pay for what they need. Norwich Union points out that the benefits one person needs are nor necessarily suitable for another person, which means a PMI plan must be flexible if it is to have wide appeal.
A wide range of benefits is available under the core element, which can be reduced by several options –reduced outpatient cover and selected benefit reduction; excess options, reduced hospital lists and a six-week option which pays benefits only if the NHS cannot provide treatment within six weeks. Upgrades include GP referred complementary and alternative treatment plus minor surgery by a GF, dental and optical treatment and extended hospital lists.
Policyholders have access to the online personal health manager, which covers health planning, symptom assessment, a medical encyclopaedia and 24-hour helplines.
Apart from the benefits, policyholders may be particularly interested in two other features of the plan. They can switch to health solutions from another provider without any further underwriting, providing they are fully underwritten on their existing policy.
Finally, a no-claims discount, which is based on a sliding scale of nine levels up to 60 per cent, is applied from the start. New policyholders will usually start on level six, giving a 45 per cent discount. The discounts are reviewed annually, so if there is no claim it moves up a level, but a less appealing aspect is that it will move down three levels if a claim is made.
However, claims for optical and dental, NHS and maternity cash benefit, alternative and complementary treatment and claims falling totally within the excess option will not affect the discount.