21st Century Health Plans has introduced the hospital advantage plan, an individual PMI plan that aims to provide affordable cover for hospital treatment.
It operates through a public-private partnership between 21st Century Health Plans and selected NHS hospitals. Policyholders are given access to private NHS facilities at a negotiated rate. Premiums range from £176.27 a year for children under 18 to £692.87 a year for adults aged 60 to 64. Benefits are divided into three categories – inpatient and day-patient treatment, outpatient treatment and additional benefits. The first category includes the cost of hospital accommodation, medicines and dressings, consultant fees and psychiatric treatment. These are also included on an outpatient basis but only following a hospital stay. Further benefits include parent accommodation when visiting a child and private ambulance transport.
Norwich Union's individual personal care is a similar budget PMI plan that does not cover psychiatric treatment or physiotherapy and consultant fees on an outpatient basis. However, it has additional benefits such as maternity cash and if premiums are paid for an adult and the eldest child, any remaining children are covered free.
NU's plan is also more expensive. Premiums for those aged 20 to 39 are £417.94 a year. This compares with £264.47 for the same age group with 21st Century Health Plans.