Health insurers now offer customers medical assistance online

Health insurers have begun deploying tools which give customers and advisors more power to deal with health issues and policies online.

Private medical insurer VitalityHealth, formerly owned by Prudential, has adopted new tech giving 700,000 customers across the UK access to a medical professional over the phone as well as via a video appointment within two days.

By co-ordinating treatment, which includes home-based services such as blood samples taken by medical professionals or prescription deliveries via the network of Lloyds pharmacies across the country, Vitality hopes its ‘GP’ service will improve patient satisfaction.

Neville Koopowitz, chief executive of VitalityHealth, said: “Private healthcare has often fallen down by its reliance of needing an NHS referral.

“Vitality GP represents the launch of a new category of insurance where our network of private GPs can co-ordinate members’ care when and where they want or need it.”

More than 5.1 million people in the UK were covered for private healthcare in 2013 and £7.3 million was paid out in claims every day, according to the Association of British Insurers. The availability of new technology is expected to help insurers reduce administrative costs, heighten customer satisfaction and increase brand loyalty.

Health plan provider Health Shield has also introduced a new online service allowing all valid receipt-based claims to be paid within 24 hours.