A new healthcare fund, HealthFund, seeks to shake up the way that healthcare is purchased.
HealthFund offers members a unique combination of:
An interest-bearing fund that remains the property of the member
High quality medical insurance that can include children and grandparents
A medical helpline staffed by nurses and doctors
Advice on NHS as well as private treatments
For most treatments a much lower price than traditional health insurance
HealthFund is aimed at people for whom private healthcare has become unaffordable. Members purchase a health insurance policy, underwritten at Lloyds’ of London, and build up a fund in an interest-bearing account held by Bank of Scotland. Expensive treatments are paid for via the policy and minor treatments directly from the fund. This dramatically reduces the cost of the insurance. The fund remains the property of the member, who has the right to withdraw it whenever they want to. HealthFund has teamed with BMI hospitals, the UK’s largest private hospital group to provide treatments. HealthFund is not restricted to BMI, any hospital can be selected.
Andy Dean of HealthFund says, “Because members agree to pay the first portion of any claim, we can dramatically bring down the cost of their premiums. We have negotiated preferential rates with BMI Healthcare for those buying treatment from their fund reserves, so members will pay less than buying directly. Members also get 24-hour support to assist with advice and treatment purchases even if below the excess. Those with pre-existing conditions will not be covered. Cover is most cost effective for those who are fitter than average and less likely to claim.”
For families taking out HealthFund cover, each individual member needs to have their own excess of at least £1,500. This could prove very expensive if more than one family member were to claim in one policy year.
While the launch suggests it is a new idea, that is not accurate, as it is a variation on an existing offering by National Deposit, also linked to a deposit account. Like National Deposit, individuals or small businesses can buy the plan.
Private medical insurance: News update: November 2008