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      06.11.2002 18:48
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      "HealthNow has been developed by American Internation Group (AIG) wh protect more than three million people in the UK from the consequences of illness of accidents. AIG is the world's largest insurance organisation" The booklet from "HealthNow" states...... "The NHS offers you quick and excellent treatment for conditions such as cancer. So we don't consider it necessary to include this in our cover" I would certainly like to see more evidence to verify this statement and I guess there might be cnacer patients or relatives of cancer patient that would contend that viewpoint. The quoted monthly premium for my partner and myself for "HealthNow" would be £66.30 Our current premium with Norwich Union Healthcare is £155.36 so "HealthNow" is at £79.06 about half the price of our current product. The nearest we can get to the HealthNow quotation is to opt for a scheme that utilises pay beds in NHS and funds your private treatment in suites that are, in this part of the Country, of a very high standard. The price for this, including cancer treatments, would be £94.47 per month for us both. So HealthNow remains £28.17 cheaper! Would you opt for the NHS paybed scheme and pay an extra £28.17 and know you were covered for cancer? Would you go for the competively priced HealthNow scheme with treatment taking place in a private hospital? - unless you contracted cancer and had to rely on NHS treatment and accommodation. I've completed this review on the basis of my contacts with HealthNow following their recent promotional campaign. I have rated the range of services as "poor" as I would certainly prefer to have the option of paying extra to have full protection against the need for cancer treatment and then being able to compare with my existing policy. **************************UPDATE TO OPINION****************************
      Can't seem to find a place on Dooyoo to discuss these broader issues. I've written though to Norwich Union my current provider for their observations:- The Editor Health Talk Dept 18, Norwich Union Healthcare Hampshire Corporate Park Eastleigh Hants S053 3RY Greetings from West Sussex! With my partner now reaching retirement age we are planning ahead to maintain private medical insurance at the most economical cost. Firstly the King Edward VII Hospital at Midhurst is on your list of approved hospitals for the Trust Care Starter policy and when visiting the King Edward as an outpatient we have found the facilities and support to be excellent. Changing from our current Norwich Union policy to Trust Care Starter would reduce our premiums with you by about one third. One thing that worried us, and might concern other people, is whether or not general staffing standards in the National Health Service could affect medical and nursing care under the Trust Care Starter scheme and perhaps result in a reduced quality of service compared with a fully private option. We have the option changing to another medical insurance company and staying in a fully private scheme. They will offer a further reduction of one third of our premiums in comparison with the Trust Care Starter scheme and the reason for this reduction is explained:- ?The NHS offers you quick and excellent treatment for conditions such as cancer. So we don?t consider it necessary to include this in our cover. But remember you are covered for immediate diagnostic consultations- you can see a consultant straight away so you will immediately find out if there is something wrong. We will also give you free help and advice on how best to move forward? We are aware that the Government has targeted cancer treatment for major improvements ? I believe our record here is one of the worst in Europe. How
      well are they doing and how soon will it be before we reach European standards? Are we correct in believing that poor NHS standards will in any case affect the quality of service available to private patients? We see that one of Speciality Hospitals for Cancer Treatment in the Trust Care Starter Scheme is the Royal Marsden at Sutton. Should we be unfortunate to suffer from cancer we are wondering about the pros and cons of travelling to a centre of excellence such as this rather than a local facility. Your help and advice here would be appreciated. A further reason for the reduced premium form your competitor is:- ?We cover you for those common conditions with long NHS waiting lists ? like heart bypass, varicose veins, or hip replacement. We don?t cover you for those situations where the NHS offers quick treatment, for example, childbirth or an accident, or for elective surgery, such as a vasectomy? Once stable after an accident would we, as a Trust Care patients be entitled to recovery treatment in a private ward? Should you decide that this letter is suitable for publication we would be grateful for a pre-publication answer as we are finding these issues quite worrying and complex. Perhaps you would be kind enough to provide answers and observations even if the letter is not published. Yours sincerely Margaret and Victor Sullivan (Policy no.044156)

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