Friendly society National Deposit has launched a hybrid healthcare product aimed at offering small-to-medium-sized businesses an alternative to traditional private medical insurance (PMI).
The Group Healthcare Deposit Account provides cover for a comprehensive range of medical treatments, including surgical operations, cancer treatment and consultations, as well as cash plan-style dental and optical benefits.
Employer-paid premiums are fixed and range between £30 and £200 per month per employee, depending on the level of cover selected and the age of the employee.
Once paid, the premium is split in half, with 50% going into a personal account for the employee and 50% going into a healthcare account. When an employee makes a claim, 90% of the claim is drawn from the healthcare account and 10% from the personal account.
If employees never claim or only claim a small amount they will be able to use the balance in the personal account when they leave to fund their own individual cover or for other purposes.
Employers are required to pay an early-years top-up payment of £10 a month for each employee so that they have a set level of medical cover to call on in the first ten years if they don't have enough in their personal account to pay the 10% contribution.
The £30 monthly premium provides £15,000-worth of medical cover and £450 of dental and optical cover. The highest premium level is £200, which provides employees with £100,000-worth of medical cover and 3,000 of dental and optical cover.
Private medical insurance: News update: May 2008