Friends Life launches global healthcare as protection add-on


Friends Life has launched ‘Global Treatment' with Best Doctors as an add-on to its protection policies offering policyholders the option of going abroad for serious illness treatment.

Global Treatment will cover all cancers, neurosurgery, coronary artery by-pass surgery, heart valve replacement or repair, bone marrow and live organ donor transplant surgery.

Mark Anders, director of sales at Friends Life, said: "Global Treatment revolutionises the protection insurance industry and is a unique optional benefit in the UK."

Friends Life are offering the product at £4 per month for customers and £8 on joint policies with a Protect+ product.

It is available as an option for life cover, critical illness cover and income protection products. These policies already provide Best Doctors' Second Opinion service to Friends Life customers.

The Second Opinion service will inform customers about their choices if they wish to use Global Treatment, Friends Life said. 

Global Treatment is to be available to new customers from 16 March 2015. Existing customers will need to be underwritten again, existing customers would have to take out a new protection policy.

The new option also covers the policyholder's children and arranges for a companion to go with them while they have their treatment, with all accommodation costs covered.

Customers are presented with a range of global hospitals on deciding they wish to consider going abroad for treatment with a list of specialists for their treatment provided.

It also covers complications as a result of surgery and if necessary, medications not available on the NHS costing up to £50,000 are covered.

The maximum benefit entitlement in one year is £1m and multiple treatments are allowed, up to £2m per person in their lifetime.

While exclusive to Friends Life in the UK, Best Doctors already runs the same product with other providers overseas with around 30 providers in 14 countries, as some deals are not exclusive.

A product with similarities to the practical aspects was launched by Passport2Health in 2012, which has now stopped accepting new customers.

Anders added: "It provides peace of mind that comes from knowing you are in the best hands. If a customer or their children were diagnosed with a serious illness, Global Treatment can open the doors to more options, giving them access to treatment at world-renowned hospitals by leading medical experts.

"If a customer is diagnosed with cancer and the best possible treatment is in New York, Zurich or Sydney, for example, Global Treatment will cover the costs. All they have to do is concentrate on getting better."

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