Monday, 23rd March 2020

Important clients see value and protect their underwriting as Private Health sector agrees to provide 8,000 beds and almost 20,000 staff to fight Coronavirus.

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) has called on all firms to come together to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

AMII Executive Chairman Stuart Scullion cited the historic announcement by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, that the private healthcare sector has reached agreement with the NHS to make almost its entire capacity available to the NHS to support the fight against the Covid-19 Coronavirus.

“These are unprecedented times across the health sector and this announcement is evidence of the continuing collaboration between the public and private sectors,” he said.

“The provision of an additional 8,000 beds and almost 20,000 healthcare staff will provide much needed support if the Coronavirus spreads as anticipated over the coming days and weeks.

“These additional resources may be used to enable the NHS to continue to carry out other urgent operations and cancer treatments.

“Not only are the private hospital groups providing staff and facilities, but they are doing it at cost and we are asking all Insurers and Intermediary firms to come together, irrespective of whether they are AMII members or not, to fight Covid-19 as one.”

AMII is following the daily briefings from the Prime Minister and guidance from NHS England to help members prepare for each next stage.

Mr Scullion stressed that insurers must be adaptable and flexible in supporting clients to maintain the vital cover provided by all insurances, especially private medical insurance and health cash plans.

He added: “Unemployment, reduced hours and financial worries mean there is a key role for our members to play in support of clients.

“It would be easy to say, ‘Why should I keep my cover when I may be unable to access private hospital facilities?’ but private medical insurance and health cash plans provide much more than hospital treatment.

“Digital GP services, employee assistance programmes and digital and telephone-based mental health support can be invaluable to customers at this difficult time and continue to deliver real value to customers.”

Mr Scullion stressed that insurers are looking at a number of options from payment holidays to enhanced NHS cash benefits for those who may be unfortunate enough to contract the Coronavirus to ensure the product continues to deliver value.

But perhaps as important was the need for customers to protect their underwriting status. Mr Scullion added: “PMI is not like a TV subscription service that you can cancel and recommence when you are ready. Consumers need to protect their underwriting status and cover to ensure they do not find themselves with a new Moratorium or exclusions applied.”

“Intermediaries have a responsibility to ensure they convey this message clearly. We would encourage anyone who is thinking of cancelling their cover to speak with their Intermediary or Insurer before doing so.”