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Pru and S African firm in health deal

Prudential has teamed up with South African private medical insurance provider Discovery to launch PruHealth, the UK&#39s first product to link the cost of premiums to the actions that policyholders make to keep fit and healthy.

The new model has seen considerable success in South Africa and the US, where Discovery has partnered with Guardian and Tufts, selling exclusively through IFAs in both countries.

Under the terms of the policy, policyholders can dec-rease their premiums by taking regular check-ups and healthscreens through partners such as hospital group HCA and the Diagnostic Clinic or by joining and attending Cannons Health & Fitness Club or Holmes Place at red-uced membership fees.

The UK deal will see the product provided through IFAs and the Pru&#39s tied channels, marking the first time that the product has been offered through channels other than IFAs.

PruHealth has been laun-ched three months ahead of schedule following successful implementation of the FSA&#39s new regulatory regime for general insurance, which comes into effect in January 2005.

Discovery says it was app-roached by Axa PPP prior to considering a launch in the UK but preferred to strike a deal with the Pru.

Discovery chief executive Adrian Gore says: “PruHealth is a UK first and will revolutionise healthcare in the UK. IFAs are the obvious channel to be able to make the most of this new service.”

PruHealth chief executive Catherine McGrath says: “We want to make sure the Pru-Health philosophy of incentivising and rewarding healthier lifestyles works just as well for corporate schemes as it does for individual and family policies. PruHealth is a fairer and more progressive approach to private medical insurance which will open up cover to a broader range of people and businesses.”

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