An individual can provide plans for themselves on a single basis or choose to take a joint life plan and also include family members. PMI policies are often provided as group schemes, where the employer pays the contribution.
Cover can be purchased on a full medical underwriting basis, which means you will be asked a number of questions about your health and, based on the information you provide, the insurer will decide the conditions of your cover. You can also apply for cover on a moratorium basis, which means you will not be asked any questions about your health, but if you have suffered from any health conditions in the last five years, these will automatically be excluded for a minimum of two years from the start of the plan.
Costs are determined by age, sex, extent of cover (e.g. single or family) and location of hospital. No-claims discounts are often available. PMI is renewable annually which means if you have made excessive claims the insurer has the right to refuse cover in the future. The cost of cover goes up the older you are.
There is no tax relief on the contributions and benefits are paid tax-free. If provided by an employer, contributions paid are taxed as a P11D benefit for the employee and are treated as an expense of the business for the employer.