Choices is a group international private medical insurance (iPMI) plan for small groups (5-29 employees). It has been soft launched, with new business being accepted from March.
The plan is modular in format with a core plan covering inpatient/day-patient hospital treatment; emergency medical evacuation; ambulance services; rehabilitation (as an alternative to post-acute care); hospice care; repatriation of mortal remains; nursing at home dental treatment after an accident; post-hospital outpatient; outpatient surgery; inpatient psychiatric care (up to 30 nights); parent accommodation with child under 18; organ transplants, and hospital cash benefit. Three levels of cover are available with maximum annual limits of £1m, £1.5m and £5m (or equivalent in US $ or Euros).
To this can be added the following options:
- Option 1: Cancer Treatment and Chronic Care. Level 1 provides up to £50,000 cover, Level 2 is full refund.
- Option 2: Outpatient Treatment. This offers a maximum aggregate limit of £1,500 for basic cover, or extended out-patient treatment or advanced out-patient treatment. All have individual limits or are full refund, depending on the type of outpatient treatment.
- Option 3: Additional Benefits. A range of options is available including dental treatment (covering routine dentistry) and wellness benefit with or without optical cover. Two levels of maternity cover are available. Again, individual limits apply depending on the confinement (routine or with complications), with a separate benefit for birth defects and congenital illness.
For voluntary plan members a two year rolling moratorium applies to all pre-existing conditions. Otherwise all members can be accepted on a medical history disregarded basis. There are no restrictions on where treatment can be received (i.e. no provider networks that must be used). Cover can also be bespoked to meet particular needs or budgets. Emergency medical evacuation is included on all plans. All benefits and exclusions were clearly set out in the pre-production literature we saw.
Bracknell, Berkshire, based Expacare was founded in 1982, making it one of the world's longest established international health organisations. It is part of the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group and insures 147 nationalities in over 150 countries worldwide.
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Please see website for details.
What They Say
Managing director Beverly Cook said: "Choices is our new plan specifically designed to offer a flexible modular product to small groups. It consists of a core module that offers inpatient treatment and evacuation cover with add on modules that can extend the cover to include varying levels of outpatient cover, cover for cancer and chronic conditions as well as other care and wellness options. Our brokers and partners have told us that this level of flexibility is what their clients are looking for and we are delighted to have met that challenge."
What We Say
"Expacare has come up with an attractive package for the group iPMI market that offers a good choice of options without over-complication. If the standard options do not suit, then it is possible to bespoke benefits to suit individual needs and budgets.
"Care needs to be taken to ensure that benefit limits meet individual requirements, but the limits themselves look to be reasonable. Expacare has considerable experience in this market and this plan should appeal to those looking for a solid solution for the small group iPMI market."
"The Competition Commission's market investigation is unlikely to change much for customers" Tony Levene