A health insurance scheme for cancer suffers has been launched by protection provider Vitality.
The Cancer Benefit Booster will provide a monthly income to support additional living expenses incurred during cancer treatment and is available to members with a VitalityHealth Private Medical Insurance (PMI) plan and an eligible VitalityLife Serious Illness Cover (SIC) policy.
Under the scheme policyholders will receive £570 per month, plus the cost of their monthly PMI and life insurance premiums per month on top.
The benefits booster follows research from Macmillan Cancer Support carried out in 2012 which showed more than four in five (83per cent) people were affected by the financial implications of cancer and were on average £570 a month worse off because of a cancer diagnosis.
The Cancer Benefit Booster was announced as part of the ‘Vitality Pink’ initiative which directly rewards and unlocks value to members who hold both a VitalityHealth and VitalityLife policy.
Neville Koopowitz, CEO at Vitality, said: “Having cancer can be an incredibly difficult time for anyone and worrying about the cost of living with the disease can bring extra pressure.
"Through the introduction of our new Cancer Benefit Booster, we will be able to provide extra financial support, giving extra assurance and support when they may need it most.”
Alan Lakey, director of Highclere Financial Services, said: “This certainly appears to be an innovative and well thought out product. Often people think a lump sum will sort out all their problems and help them clear big expenses like their mortgage.
“But in reality, many people are having to use this money to cover extra things like the cost of a wheelchair or simply just to cover the costs of living, so having a booster policy like this in tandem with critical illness cover would be highly beneficial.”
VitalityLife has also announced a number of changes to its serious illness cover (SIC) policies.
The insurer has added four conditions to the cover, including necrotising fasciitis, desmoid-type fibromatosis, myasthenia gravis, and severe sepsis.
According to the insurer, severe sepsis has seen a doubling in hospital admissions in the past three years, making it more common that heart attacks.
The four additions means VitalityLife is now paying out on all 23 conditions covered in the market.
The company has also adapted its children’s cover by adding cover for Type 1 Diabetes, while its children’s hospital benefit will provide a £100 a day from the 14th day a child member is hospitalised, up to a maximum of £3,000.
VitalityHealth meanwhile announced a healthcare benefit for employers that do not have sufficient budget to offer all their employees full PMI.
The Vitality@Work product provides access to benefits including physiotherapy, GP appointments and mental health support, and will provide an intermediate option for medium to large employers.
Clients who cover at least 10 of their employees with full PMI will be able to select Vitality@Work for £7.50 per person per month for their wider workforce, available from early next year.