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Supermarket sweeps into medical insurance

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11/01/2007

Tesco is poised to enter the private medical insurance market, building on its current presence in the financial services sector.

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain already sells general insurance, life protection and savings accounts, along with other financial services. It hopes to net an extra £3.2bn a year from adding health insurance to its offering.

Shoppers at 1,000 Tesco outlets can now pick up leaflets detailing the ‘simple’ health insurance criteria. There will be to different health insurance policies available: premium and core. AXA/PPP Healthcare is working in conjunction with the supermarket giant in offering the cover.

The basic insurance – ‘core’ cover – will offer private medical insurance for in-patient and day-patient care, out-patient scans, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Premium cover, which costs more, offers extra out-patient benefits.

According to Tesco Personal Finance, its health insurance pricing is highly competitive, at up to 32% cheaper than some rivals. It also easy to buy, as no medical questions will be asked unless the purchaser is over 76 years of age.

Jeremy Sutton, head of savings and investment at Tesco Personal Finance, said: “Our customer research suggests that perceived high prices, complicated products and complex medical questions have been major stumbling blocks to buying heath insurance.
“We aim to change that by offering products that are simple, good value and easy to buy.”

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