Standard Life Healthcare is to scrap its 100-strong hospital network in a bid to offer policyholders more fairly priced premiums, the insurer said this week.

Standard Life Healthcare has gross written premiums of £150m, and around 350,000 customers will be affected by the changes.

Policyholders wishing to have access to more expensive hospitals – most notably from the BMI network – will be expected to pay higher premiums. Four policies will be available to customers under the new scheme.

Managing director Mike Hall said: “Hospital charges make up a significant proportion of our total claims costs. When we reviewed our hospital lists last year, it became clear that there are considerable variations in the costs charged by hospitals and that this differential is making the cost of insurance higher than it needs to be for some people.”

Under the revamp, Standard Life has developed four sets of hospital lists: the countrywide hospital list, countrywide London upgrade, extended hospital list, and extended London upgrade hospital list.

The new service will be effective from November 16 for Standard Life's individual policyholders. The insurer will seek to switch its group policyholders from February next year, although this date has yet to be fixed.

Standard Life will host a series of seminars to explain the changes to brokers, IFAs and hospitals.