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Level-headed WPA

Western Provident Association has des-igned self-pay protect, a healthcare

cash plan that helps with the cost of hospital treatment for short-term

illness or injury.

The plan is concerned only with inpatient or day-case private hospital

treatment and follow-up outpatient treatment for 90 days after the patient

has left hospital. It has three levels of cover and a 90-day deferred

period.

Under level one cover, patients are reimbursed 30 per cent of the cost of

their treatment. With level two, 50 per cent of the cost is reimbursed and

with level three, 75 per cent of the cost is reimbursed. The maximum amount

that each person can claim is £50,000 a year.

Premiums are based on the person&#39s age and the level of cover they

require. For level one cover, premiums start at £30.69 a year for

under-18s, rising to £123 a year for elderly patients. Premiums for

level two range from £69.30 a year to £279.30 a year and from

£99 a year to £399 a year for level three cover.

This plan is unusual in that it does not provide cash benefits for routine

medical treatment such as eye tests and dental examinations or cash

benefits during childbirth.

Other healthcare cash plans such as Norwich Union&#39s cash plan provide

these benefits. However, the NU benefits for a hospital stay are limited

compared with self-pay protect.

Some patients put off by NHS waiting lists may go for private treatment

and self-pay protect could be useful in meeting these costs. But costs are

reimbursed only after the treatment has taken place so patients must still

find the money in the first instance.

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