Telephone-based healthcare service Health Care Navigator has launched a new service aimed at the corporate healthcare market.

Health Care Navigator is based on the idea that employers and employees evaluate self-insurance and self-pay options alongside, or instead of, conventional private medical insurance.

Patients can phone the company's helpline, which is staffed 24 hours a day by nurses, for background knowledge about medical conditions and treatment options.

If NHS treatment is not immediately available, Health Care Navigator will provide information about the cost and availability of private medical care.

The corporate scheme is designed to interlock with a wide range of company and personal financial products. The company says the scheme can cost as little as £20 an employee.

Roger Hymas, chairman of Health Care Navigator, said: “Transferring the employee benefit of the PMI contribution to an investment backed financial arrangement would make sense – particularly over the long term – for many employees, especially those in their 20s, 30s and 40s.”