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Health insurance : Hot topics

In "Hot topics", Ian Youngman, Private Healthcare UK's health insurance writer, examines some of the key issues that affect health insurance coverage and premiums.

  • Why employers are promoting health cash plans corporate healthcareAll of us are being urged to become more personally responsible for our community, our environment, our health and our finances. As the state cuts down on what it does, in some of those areas we have little choice.
  • Can insurers offer long-term care insurance? Prostate surgery - Get a quote now MetLife will halt sales of long-term care insurance, a type of coverage that has repeatedly caused problems for insurers and forced some to pay significantly more in claims than they expected.
  • Why do some insurers think they are above the law? Group Risk Development (Grid)Every time we get new proposals for legislation that improves equality on age and sex, you can guarantee that a trade body, insurer or insurance committee will whine and whinge that the law should not be applied to insurance.
  • Get paid for getting healthier - not as daft as it sounds? obesity tobacco alcoholThe majority of NICE's independent Citizens Council advisory group made up of members of the public believes that incentive systems could be an effective way of encouraging people to change their unhealthy lifestyles providing that certain conditions are met.
  • Will insurers and consumers benefit from major healthcare reforms? Houses of ParliamentThe coalition government's aim is to free up provision of healthcare, so that in most sectors of care, any willing provider can provide services, giving patients greater choice and ensuring effective competition stimulates innovation and improvements, and increases productivity within a social market.
  • The increased need to search for individual income protection insurance mortgage insuranceThe new government has many ideas, but much of what they plan is based on a simple concept that too many people are passive. Over the last two decades, we have been bombarded with new laws, information, advice and much more, often from self-styled experts with no real experience of life. It is no use if you already know or suspect you will be losing your job, or if you run your own business. It...
  • Will new regulation work? FSA - Financial Services AuthorityPartly as a punishment for totally missing warnings on the banking collapse, as well as lesser failures to spot collapsing insurers and intermediaries, the government intends to transfer the regulatory functions of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to the Bank of England and certain proposed new regulatory bodies.
  • Term Life or Whole Life Insurance? life insuranceIn the last few years, the real price of life insurance has fallen. This has also meant a bigger gap between the cost of term life and whole life.
  • Do we need health insurance shops? HighmarkIn the USA, Highmark recently announced that it will open four additional Highmark Direct retail health insurance stores in Pennsylvania, including three stores in the Pittsburgh area and one store in Harrisburg.
  • Why tinkering with critical illness reveals fundamental problems in product design total permanent disabilityThe Association of British Insurers and its working party, the group handling the statement of best practice for critical illness cover, wants financial advisers to help it find a new name for total permanent disability (TPD). It wants to know what the T, P and D should stand for.
  • A Healthier Nation the ConservativesAndrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, recently launched the Conservative Party's green paper on public health - A Healthier Nation.
  • Personal health budgets healthcare on a budget Last year the Government pledged its commitment to creating a more personalised and responsive NHS by nominating 70 sites across England as provisional pilots for personal health budgets. Of these, twenty have been selected for an in-depth study as part of a wider evaluation exploring the potential of personal health budgets to benefit different groups of people. The study will be conducted by a...
  • NICE or nasty? National institute for health and clinical excellence NICE logoIf hospitals or doctors were able to use any treatment or drug they wanted, they would be under huge pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to use freebies and trials. Someone, somewhere has to independently test whether a drug works and is safe to use.
  • Insurers need to amend age limits Prudential logoMany insurers still have life, critical illness and income protection policies that stop paying out or cease cover, at state retirement age. Many more refuse to accept new business from people over 60 or 65, or even younger. Urgent rethinks on both are needed.
  • The future of private health insurance and the NHS NHS logoNHS Confederation, the independent membership body, outlines in the conclusion of a report on the health service, the problems faced by the NHS in the spending squeeze, The need to address the challenge is obvious, but action is required now and at all levels. Many staff will require new skills and approaches to help them do this. We will need to strip away the obstacles that stand in the way of...
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