Interview: Frank Levine

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Frank Levene, chief executive and founder of health insurance company Passport2Health UK, tells Nicola Culley about his innovative PMI product offering medical treatment abroad .

Escalating price and a traditional model that does not want to be disturbed is how the chief executive of newby PMI provider Passport2Health would describe the UK healthcare market. Frank Levene launched his five-years-in-the-making venture mid-June, with big ideas to break through perceived UK market restrictions on PMI product innovation.

“All you see is just the same products over and over again in the PMI market, with only slight differences between them,” Levene stated.
And with that line of thinking the concept he has developed are PMI products involving UK diagnosis and overseas treatment.

He explained treatment in the UK is getting more and more expensive, and prices are unlikely to come down. So, for the ordinary working man, Levene said, PMI cover was moving further and further out of reach.

One of the provider’s tag lines is that the products it offers will save consumers up to 50% on traditional private health insurance. According to Levene, the reason the new player can achieve these competitive price tags against the escalating UK PMI prices was the half-decade he spent labouring over development of a steadfast hospital network overseas, and getting the packages right.

He said: “There is a huge gap for this in the UK. The NHS does a marvellous job but the private sector has never been able to rise to the challenge. People are paying more and more and there is very little innovation.

“The major difference with us is we are about 30% to 40% less expensive than other products. This is mainly because we have been able to agree packages and build a large network.”

With the proposition, at the point when a policyholder would need treatment or surgery, there would be a choice of hospitals. At the moment, that network mostly exists in Western Europe.

Levene said, with the UK PMI market the way it is, it would be too restricting to push the boundaries without looking overseas. The price of care in this country was one aspect to the conundrum, he added, but also stressed that quality of care was declining. According to Levene, the levels of care in Europe can be much better than on home soil.

“The UK provider sector is very modest in size and has never really been open to innovation. All we see is just the same PMI products over and over again with minor differences between them,” he said.

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