Norwich Union Healthcare has designed a group private medical insurance (PMI) plan for companies with between 50 and 100 employees.
Solutions provides core cover and a range of options that allow companies to add or remove benefits to suit a range of employees. Core cover benefits includes hospital charges as an in-patient or day-patient, specialist consultations as an out-patient, the cost of nursing at home following in-patient or day-patient treatment and maternity cash benefit of £100 for each child.
Four additional cover options provide in-patient and day-patient psychiatric cover, GP referred services such as minor surgery and alternative treatments, extended hospital list and routine optical and dental cover. There are four cost containment options, which reduce the core benefits. The six-week option provides in-patient treatment only where the NHS waiting list exceed six weeks, member excess allows a choice of a £100 or £200 excess, selected benefit reduction limits cover to in-patient, day-patient and outpatient cover and there is also the ability to reduce out-patient cover.
The plan could be a useful addition to the group PMI market as it bridges the gap between full and budget PMI plans within one product, while providers such as Bupa offer a range of products to suit different needs. For example, Bupa's premier networks scheme limits psychiatric benefit up to £1,000, while its premier plus plan does not limit benefit in monetary terms. In comparison, Norwich Union's product limits psychiatric treatment to £1,000 within its core cover, with the option to upgrade this to an unlimited benefit.
However, one drawback is that reduced out-patient cover is only available with the selected benefits reduction option and no other options can be selected where both options are chosen.