A new private medical insurance provider is launching this week promising cheaper premiums by using vacant NHS beds.
21st Century Health Plans' first product is the Hospital Advantage plan which uses surplus capacity at NHS private facilities throughout England and Wales.
Claimants can choose to have treatment in 123 NHS hospitals, where they would be treated by NHS consultants, have access to NHS operating theatres and the assurance of full NHS emergency back-up facilities under the plan.
Norwich Union HealthCare also has a product which exclusively uses NHS beds.
21st Century is setting up a cash plan, Safety Net, which is targeted at the self-employed. It offers benefits such as income replacement for up to three months and immediate assistance with emergency domestic arrangements.
The provider is looking at offering an over-65 plan in the next three months and a total package which covers everything from GP consultation to long-term care in the next six months.
Sales and marketing director and creator of the plan Jo Clark says: “We are determined to provide acc-essible and affordable private healthcare while at the same time making a significant contribution to the NHS.”