AIG Unit Launches U.K. Health Care Coverage

June 7, 2000

New Hampshire Insurance Co., a member of the AIG Group, announced that it would begin offering health care coverage in the U.K. for non-emergency medical procedures under a plan named “Healthnow.”

The name is no accident, as it puts the spotlight on the lengthy delays for even the most minor operations which plague Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). In fact the policy’s most important feature is access to private consultation and treatment which avoids the NHS.

Despite the fact that the NHS is free, New Hampshire expects to sell “tens of thousands” of Healthnow policies, with premiums ranging between £10 ($15.20) and £46 ($70) per month based on age.

According to official statistics there were more than 1.2 million people in the U.K. on hospital waiting lists as of the end of March. While public hospitals are more than 80 percent occupied, private ones, which the Healthnow plan will give its insureds access to, are usually only around 50 percent occupied.

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