UK health and beauty retailer Boots has entered into a partnership with insurer PruHealth, a joint venture between Prudential and Discovery Holdings, to begin offering private medical insurance in its 1,500 stores across the country.

Boots is hoping that the new high street health insurance product will enable the company to break into the lucrative UK private medical insurance (PMI) market. The retailer aims to offer its PMI policies at a competitive rate, in a bid to sway the large numbers of consumers who have thus far been discouraged from taking out PMI due to cost constraints.

Boots’ PMI will offer three levels of cover, all of which include as standard access to every registered private hospital, including Nuffield and Bupa hospitals, access to every NHS private patient unit in the UK, and access to over 13,000 consultants and specialists. The policies all also come with full cancer cover at every stage of treatment, direct payment, and 24-hour access to the CallADoctor service.

This health insurance offering is being introduced as part of the first anniversary celebrations of the Boots Health Club, which offers its 1.5 million members personalized health information, advice and money off health-related products and services. By joining the Boots Health Club before October, customers will qualify for half-price health insurance premiums for the first year.

Furthermore, the PMI products will encourage policyholders to actively manage their health and wellbeing in return for potentially lower premiums. The policy will deliver rewards to those who make no or low claims and take part in its ‘Vitality programme,’ a concept originally introduced into the UK PMI market by PruHealth.

Customers will collect Boots Vitality points by taking advantage of a range of current offers such as completing an online health review or stress test, having an eye test, or downloading online meal plans. These points will count towards a vitality status and could lead to no claim bonuses of 25%, 50%, 75% or even 100% of this year’s premium towards the cost of next year’s cover.