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TOWER rolls out low-cost group health scheme

TOWER Health and Life is taking a new crack at the health insurance market, launching what could be called a major medical group policy.

Thursday, June 26th 2008, 6:26AM
Currently Southern Cross has a grip on the market with its comprehensive cover.

TOWER's research shows that employers want to provide subsidised health insurance cover for their employees at a lower cost than currently available.

Many of these organisations employ semi and unskilled workers and this is a segment where there is significant under-insurance.

The new product, Priority Health, is designed to provide cover for specific procedures which are generally high in cost, and are usually subject to long waits in the public health system. The procedures covered are ones that would usually see the employee back at work within six to eight weeks following the procedure.

A key feature of the policy is that there is one master policy for each employer, rather than having to issue individual policies.

"This policy structure is common for employer subsidised life, trauma and disability insurance as it creates cost and administrative efficiencies for the employer who is responsible for paying the total premium," TOWER says.

Other advantages include single point invoicing and auto-enrolment.

It says because Priority Health focuses on cover for specific procedures, the cost to provide employees with this type of health insurance is considerably lower than many group health plans - which can be up to 50% lower. This approach can make it a more affordable way for employers to reap the benefits of providing health insurance to their employees such as: increased staff retention

  • attraction of new employees
  • improved productivity of employees.
  • TOWER Health and Life chief executive Steve Boomert says this product is "an exciting development for the health insurance industry as it has the potential to create new customers for the group market."

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