In brief…


The final programme for this year’s Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII) conference has been revealed. During the day there will be a number of seminar sessions including an examination of musculoskeletal conditions from Mark Sharpe, clinical development manager, Aviva. The relationship between work and health will be discussed by Simon Thompson and Mary Rafferty of Bupa, while AMII general secretary Michael Payne will provide an introduction to PMI for attendees wishing to learn more about opportunities in entering the market. The second sessions will include an introduction to cardiac disease & stroke from Chris Adams, commercial director, HCA International and a presentation from Dave Matthews of Bupa B2B Sales. The third session will see Martyn Anthony, head of specialist services at Bupa Wellness ask how, in the present economic climate, intermediaries can provide support to clients and identify solutions for employees’ health and wellbeing. Finally, Carl Carter, chairman of the Association of International Medical Insurance Providers and managing director of IMG Europe Ltd will speak. The conference is on Wednesday, 17 June at the Barcelo Hinckley Island Hotel just outside Coventry. Further details about each session can be found at:


Lorica Consulting is once again supporting a charity golf day and is inviting both golfers and non-golfers alike to get involved in aid of the Neuroblastoma Society. Hosted at the prestigious Princes Golf Club, Sandwich Bay in Kent, the event is on the 28th August 2009 and is followed by a dinner and a charity auction. Teams of four are invited to take part, with a shotgun start at 12 noon. Non golfers are also welcome and can enjoy a group lesson with PGA professional Luke Dyer. The entry price is £400 per team of four, while donations and/or auction prizes are also welcome. Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer with an appallingly low survival rate – just 30% of children who suffer the condition will survive for more than five years after diagnosis. Last year, £20,000 was raised on the day. Individuals or organisations wishing to support this year’s event should contact Nick Bushell at


Reforms designed to “slash costly bureaucracy” and restore access to NHS dentists have been announced by the Conservative party. The proposals include the creation of incentives for dentists to spend more time on preventative dental care, the reintroduction of dental screening for children in schools and charges for patients who repeatedly miss appointments. Taxpayer-trained dentists would have to work for the NHS for at least five years. It was reported in December that 1.2 million fewer people have seen an NHS dentist since new dentist contracts were introduced in 2006.


AEGON Scottish Equitable has launched a new initiative to help advisers highlight the importance of inheritance tax relief planning for business owners. The provider said advisers can now access a simple guide and step by step flowchart to help them understand business property tax relief and use it to their clients’ advantage. Business property relief enables many businesses to enjoy generous inheritance tax reliefs, potentially making them exempt or partially exempt from inheritance tax. For more information advisers should contact their local AEGON Scottish Equitable branch, or they can download the business property relief sales aid from


Sales of income protection insurance to consumers rose by 13.5% in 2008 to 126,815 (111,780 in 2007), according to Swiss Re’sTerm & Health Watch. The figures, which were released as Health Insurance went to press, also show that new whole of life business is now at the highest level since 2000, showing an increase of 28.8% (totalling 282,438 policies). New term assurance sales totalled 1,447,895 policies, down 6.1% compared with 2007. However, critical illness sales fell 4.7% to 511,045. Look out for more on the figures in next month’s magazine.


Norwich Union Healthcare is to replace its Global Care policies with a new modular plan. The International Solutions product willinclude “wellness benefits” and a co-payment option. Andrew Turner, head of international at Norwich Union Healthcare, said: “While Norwich Union Healthcare’s main focus in recent years has been on growing our UK private medical insurance(PMI) market share, we have nearly 20 years’ experience in international PMI. We are keen to build on our previous successes by pro-actively targeting the international PMI market and by leveraging the opportunities created by our integration with the wider Aviva Group.”


Bright Grey new business was up 18% to £45m (present value of new business premiums) in the first quarter of 2009. Scottish Provident, also owned by Royal London, recorded £55m of new business in protection. Royal London said Bright Grey’s strong increase, achieved despite the falling mortgage market, could be attributed to its close work with IFAs.


Bupa has sold its childcare business, Teddies Nurseries, to Bright Horizons Family Solutions, in a deal which creates the largest network of nurseries in the UK. Since acquiring 18 Teddies nurseries in 2000, Bupa has grown the business to a chain of 32 facilities, caring for more than 3,000 children and babies. Bright Horizons said it intends to maintain all of the nursery teams as part of Bright Horizons. The sale of the nurseries chain is among a number of deals recently conducted by Bupa both in the UK and globally. In 2007 it sold its 25 private UK hospitals for £1.44bn to private equity and since then Britain’s largest health insurer has been largely acquisitive.


Westfield Health has increased reimbursement levels on its most popular benefits, following a comprehensive review of its core health cash plans. The review of Westfield’s Advantage and Good4you Plans are available from June 1 for new policyholders and companies, and will come into effect on September 1 for existing policyholders and companies. Optical, dental and dental trauma benefits have each been increased by an average of five per cent and the daily allowance on the day surgery benefit has been increased by an average of 10%. Additionally, the hospital inpatient benefit allowance has been reduced from 30 to 20 nights to reflect the decrease in the average length of hospital stays. Advantage and Good4you Plan premiums have increased for the first time in almost four years “in order to sustain viability”, Westfield said. Westfield has also brought reimbursement rates on level 5 in line with levels 1 to 4. This means that 100% reimbursement is available on the most valued benefits – optical, dental and dental trauma – while 75% reimbursement is available on the chiropody, consultation, therapies, homeopathy, home care, surgical appliance and health screening benefits.


Over a quarter (27%) of employers say they would still give people on incapacity benefit, and older people, the opportunity to return to the workplace, despite the economic recession. This finding, from a survey by YouGovStone on behalf of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the world’s largest professional health and safety body, suggests that government plans to get two million people currently out of work back into the workplace can still be achieved. At the launch of its manifesto, ‘Creating a healthier UK plc’, in the House of Lords, IOSH called on the government to press ahead with its plan to get people back to work – stressing that the nation cannot afford to keep writing people off just because they are not 100% fit.

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