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NHS cuts spark fears over protection premiums rise

Extensive cuts to NHS treatments could impact providers’ underwriting and lead to rising premiums, experts warn.

The Government announced last week it will stop funding 25 cancer treatment drugs, in a move designed to trim costs by up to £80m.

LV= head of underwriting Lisa Byrne says while the removal of the cancer treatments itself would not impact pricing, an extensive campaign of further cuts to treatments currently provided by the NHS would soon be factored into the price of protection.

She says: “We need to monitor longer-term trends and if the Government continues to make cuts to the treatments available through the NHS, and it starts to impact on survival rates or mortality, that is a longer-term effect that will of course factor into our pricing.

“If we saw those metrics starting to be affected by NHS cuts, or for that matter anything else, that would eventually be reflected in the way we price.”

Master Adviser partner Roy McLoughlin says: “In the worst case scenario, premiums could rise, further distancing consumers and that is the last thing you want to do. You could also see a situation where premiums remain the same but we get a lot more incidents of ratings, postponements or potentially claims being denied. Providers could get a lot more picky and the industry has had a tough enough time already.”

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