Number Of People Interested In PMI & Private Healthcare Doubles Amid Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has got Brits thinking about their health, and in particular the value of private medical insurance (PMI) and private treatment, new research suggests.
According to a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 people by Consumer Intelligence, just 15% said they were willing to pay for PMI or private treatment before the pandemic. However, following the COVID-19 crisis, that figure has nearly doubled to 27%.
This significant increase is particularly telling given that many people’s finances have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Concerns about NHS waiting lists driving demand for PMI
The research also shows the value of PMI and private treatment differs across generational cohorts. For example, 30% of respondents aged 18-34 said they were likely to pay for private healthcare, compared to just 22% of respondents aged 55 and over.
In terms of the driving forces behind people’s desire for private healthcare, concerns about waiting times for specialist treatment topped the list. Furthermore, 76% of respondents said they are concerned about current NHS waiting lists, while 67% are worried about the NHS’s ability to deal with non-COVID-19-related and non-urgent illnesses and ailments.
The survey’s publication is especially timely given that in June the NHS Confederation warned that the Covid-19 crisis could lead to the number of people waiting for NHS treatment to increase to 10 million by the end of the year – double the number waiting now.
While the British public adores the NHS and has been literally applauding it throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people are also worried about it. By investing in private medical insurance, people can not only protect themselves and their families, but also safeguard the NHS in the process by removing some of the pressure from it.
Shifting benefits preferences reflect the increasing value of protection
Today, private medical insurance is relevant for all levels of an organisation – employer and employee, executive and general staff. Healthcare plans can also work for any size of company and within any industry.
Indeed, while a pension and flexible working top the list of most desired benefits for employees, the following four are all Group Risk products: income protection, health insurance, critical illness protection and life insurance.
The most valuable benefits in employees’ eyes are:
- Flexible working
- Income protection
- Health insurance
- Critical illness protection
- Life insurance
- Car parking
- Mobile phone
- Gym membership
- Childcare vouchers
Companies of all shapes and sizes should look at this list and consider how the benefits they currently offer shape up. After all, there is no point offering benefits that you think your employees want. A much better approach is to understand your employees’ wants and needs and then satisfy them with the right benefits accordingly.
The Coronavirus outbreak has, naturally, got many of us becoming more aware of our own mortality and requirements to live a healthy life. We have been fortunate enough to know we have dedicated, capable and brave medical services on hand to help keep us safe. At time of writing, the smart people at Oxford University and Astra Zeneca continue to make encouraging progress with vaccine development, which is remarkable – fingers crossed it continues.
Here at Activ Consulting Group, we want to play our part in protecting the NHS, by ensuring we help as many organisations and individuals stay, or get, insured as possible. We will take on all negotiations and make sense of the raft of options available to you / your organisation, providing clear, concise advice and a personal recommendation.