Private health cover available to freelancers and sole traders following product expansion
Health plan provider Equipsme is offering self-employed business owners access to free private health support between now and August.
Those signing up to its Solo or Solo Plus plans - which launched this week - will be able to get an online appointment with a GP at any time of day or night, remote physiotherapy consultations, health checks and counselling services through a stress support line - there will be no charge until 1 August.
They will also be access to digital triage for more complicated conditions, with referral to in-person treatment if it cannot be safely delayed. Equipsme said when lockdown restrictions ease and private hospitals return to treating non-urgent patients, plan holders will have access to diagnosis and treatment in person.
Self-employed business owners can also choose to add family members to their plan, all of which can be arranged quickly and easily online, the insurer added.
The move comes after Equipsme recently opened free healthcare support to companies with employees between two and 20 employees (SMEs) until 1 August.
Matthew Reed, Equipsme's founder, said: "If you are self-employed you know that the health of your business relies on your physical and mental health. Now that's more important than ever. We know people are avoiding appointments to find out what is wrong with them, which risks issues that could be sorted quickly becoming far more serious or even chronic.
"We also know how tough it is at the moment to be self-employed. We hope that providing professional counselling and medical advice from now until what we expect will be the peak of the pandemic will go a small way to offering support."
Self-employed businesses can access private health support and cancel before August with nothing to pay.
Reed added: "At the moment insurance is not exactly winning the hearts and minds of businesses. This is a genuine offer and I assure self-employed business owners that they can access this on day 1, use it and cancel it by the end of July."
After August, the plans cost the same for everyone, aged 16-59 and without questions about customers' health and lifestyle, said Equipsme. However there is a three-year exclusion for pre-existing health conditions.
Advice, diagnosis, and medication
Season 1 coming soon
Due to COVID-19
New telephone and video GP service