Health plan provider WPA has launched a service to help cover employees’ private consultations and diagnostic procedures.
Swift Diagnosis has been designed to enhance WPA’s existing cash plan product, NHS Top-Up, and aims to fill the gap between GP and in-patient care.
The scheme, which is avaliable from 1 April 2013, also includes a helpline to assist employees with their on-going care, whether it is with the NHS or with the private sector. It is priced from £12.16 per month and provides cover for up to £2,000 worth of private diagnostic procedures.
A number of factors led to the creation of Swift Diagnosis, including employers seeking to broaden beneficiaries on their healthcare scheme while controlling costs, as well as delays in accessing NHS diagnostics before joining the queue for treatment and the changing NHS landscape.
Adrian Humphreys, managing director of WPA’s corporate business (pictured), said: “Tiered healthcare works for employers that are prepared to challenge what they have done in the past and evolve sustainable and effective benefits for the future.
“All the more exciting because NHS Top-Up, now with Swift Diagnosis, is attracting younger employees to corporate health care making tiering concept even more affordable.
“There’s no money left in the NHS and I think it’s extremely unlikely that we’re going to see massive tax breaks given for private medical insurance (PMI).
“It isn’t going to work, but what we might see is our governments turning around and saying ‘these tiered schemes are a bit like ‘nests’ in the pension industries.
“If employers pay for their employees to have diagnostic cover and sort out a cash plan cover, then perhaps we could see tax breaks’.”