Broker Kingsbridge has partnered with Equipsme to launch an affordable healthcare insurance product for the self-employed business owner. Equipsme provides affordable health insurance plans, underwritten by AXA PPP healthcare Limited, for self-employed businesses and companies with two or more employees. Kingsbridge offers a range of specialist business insurance products for contractors.
This insurance cover is priced at a flat rate for ages 16-59, and customers can add a partner and up to six children to the plan. There are no medical questions when taking out the cover but conditions that existed in the three years before cover starts instead are excluded. For contractors, Solo costs £27 per person per month and Solo Plus costs £39pppm.
Other benefits include:
Online health check and vitamin D, cholesterol and diabetes blood test kit/report.
Prescription delivery service to home, work or local pharmacy.
24/7 GP appointments by phone.
Seven days a week (excluding bank holidays), unlimited GP appointments online.
Bills authorised by AXA PPP healthcare are settled directly, so there is no need to front the costs and recoup them later.
Second opinion service.
Physio sessions (up to five for Solo and eight for Solo Plus).
Nurse helpline to quickly answer any medical questions or health worries.
24/7 stress support and counselling line.
Solo covers new diagnoses and the Plus version covers treatment too (albeit with a £150 excess on diagnosis or treatment). Additionally, stress support, and dental & optical benefits can be added.
As well as usual exclusions, cancer treatment is excluded too as are mental health conditions and non-UK treatment.
Comment: The contractor sector is one that arguably needs health insurance more than most, yet is rarely targeted as well as it could be by PMI insurers. Kingsbridge already has a range of contracts for contractors and these additions further mark its territory there. Incidentally, it also offers four different levels of health plan for SMEs too.
Both Solo and Solo Plus are attractively priced, but you have to read the smallprint to decide whether either plan is suitable compared to traditional and usually more expensive private medical insurance plans.
The upsides are clear but the main downside are no cancer treatment, exclusion of most pre-existing conditions, treatment must be at an approved medical network members and a compulsory £150 diagnosis/treatment exclusion on Solo Plus.
We were not impressed with the comprehensiveness of what is covered in the online summary of cover and note that ‘Full contractual information regarding the insurance cover and non-insurance services is provided in more detail upon acceptance of your Equipsme Health Insurance Plan’. In other words, buy the plan first then we’ll tell you exactly what you’re covered for. There is a 14 day cooling off period but insurers and brokers do need to spell out – in advance – what policies cover.
Plus points: Accessible and affordable healthcare benefits for contractors; Simple pricing structure; Good range of additional benefits.
Not so plus points: Not clear from the information online exactly what is and isn’t covered; No cancer treatment; £150 diagnosis/treatment excess; Excludes pre-existing conditions, so is different from the more usual moratorium underwriting approach; May be expensive for younger customers.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 7. Silver
Tags: PMI; Kingsbridge
I Mark: Yes/No