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SecureHealth keeps options open

SecureHealth has teamed up with Legal & General to offer options, a private medical insurance (PMI) plan that can be tailored to the needs of different age groups.

Options plan individual offers cover for single people, couples and families. It has six options, which can be bolted together if an upgrade is needed. Cover can also be downgraded if circumstances change.

Option one refers to basic in-patient and day-care cover, which includes hospital accommodation charges, tests, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, operating theatre fees and the cost of medicines used in hospital. Option two provides outpatient cover for specialist consultations and diagnostic procedures up to £1,000 while option three provides full cover for this.

Option four covers therapy treatment up to £1,000 while option five covers psychiatric treatment, but it is only available alongside options two and three. Option six provides additional benefits including childbirth complications, NHS cash benefits and parent accommodation charges.

Premiums range from £13.64 to £128.20 a month depending on a person&#39s age and the type of cover they require. The policy carries a compulsory excess of £100 with the choice of paying a higher excess to reduce premiums.

Some PMI plans charge double the excess if, for example, a claim begins in November and ends the following February because it falls between two policy years. The SecureHealth plan solves this problem by resetting the policy year whenever a claim is made. So a claim starting in November would mean the policy year would end the following November.

Options compares favourably with the recent hospital advantage plan from 21st Century Health Plans in that people can build up their cover in stages instead of taking all the benefits at once. But the 21st Century Health Plan offers more competitive premiums where the full range is required.

A 35-year-old with single cover would pay £48.26 with SecureHealth and £23.14 a month with 21st Century Health Plans for benefits including in-patient, out-patient, psychiatric, therapy and additional benefits.

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