Health insurers will be able to offer the same ‘sustainability’ plans as traditional plans, with the latest changes to be rolled out later this month.
The Department of Health said the plans, called ‘Sustainable Health Plans’, were “designed to address the challenge of sustainability and deliver on the Government’s commitment to tackle rising healthcare costs”.
They will cover an estimated 12 million people across the UK, covering people with pre-existing conditions, older people, pregnant women and people with disabilities.
“They will be available for people aged 65 and over and people who need care but cannot access it now because they have a pre-condition, pre-diabetes or other condition,” the Department of Social Protection said.
“The new plans will allow insurers to sell them as ‘sustaining health plans’ which can be purchased on a sliding scale and be purchased at the same time as any other health insurance policy.”
People with pre or existing conditions will have the option to buy plans with a high or low contribution to cover these costs.
“Health insurers have already announced they are planning to start selling ‘surgical’ plans, which cover procedures for people with health conditions but which do not meet current standards.
Health insurers are already offering these plans, but only to people aged 55 and over.
The department said it was working with insurers and other stakeholders to see what could be added to the plans to make them more attractive to people.
The changes, which have been made since last year, come after the Department announced plans to phase out traditional health insurance over the next five years.
Under the plans the NHS would cover up to 100% of the cost of an individual’s care, with a ‘high contribution’ being a 50% contribution.
The government said it would also take “the strongest possible action” to protect vulnerable people, including older people and people from low-income backgrounds.
However, the department warned that people with serious conditions, such as heart disease or cancer, were still likely to be covered under traditional health plans.
It said people from high-income households and people of different ages could still be offered plans which cover “cost-related conditions” but that premiums would be lower.
Insurers were also allowed to offer ‘solutions to people’s problems’ through the ‘solution kit’ which would cover “any issues with their condition” or “challenges with a doctor’s assessment”.
Insurance companies would also be able offer a wider range of coverage options than before, with plans that covered only “surgical or health related conditions” and other less common conditions including depression, anxiety and dementia.
The government also announced it would be rolling out a new ‘coverage package’ by 2020, which would be “aimed at helping more people afford the costs of care”, including those with preexisting conditions.
It is understood insurers are expected to be able sell ‘surgically’ plans to more insurers in the coming months.”
We will work with the private sector to support these plans to ensure they are more affordable for people,” the government said.
It is understood insurers are expected to be able sell ‘surgically’ plans to more insurers in the coming months.