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The Rise of PMI Insurance in 2024 and What It Means

The UK private medical insurance (PMI) market has been growing since at least 2021, and every sign indicates that the industry will only continue to grow in the coming years.

In this post we’ll explore what’s driving the growth of PMI in the UK, and discuss what this might mean for businesses, insurers, and brokers.

Why is the PMI Market Growing?

For some years now, the NHS has been afflicted with severe backlogs as a result of all the disruption that COVID-19 brought. Long waiting lists have been an issue for years. But now more people than ever are waiting for treatment. The latest BMA figures show that there are currently around 6.3 individual patients waiting for treatment in England alone. Frustrated with long waiting lists, growing numbers of UK residents are turning to private healthcare instead.

Will Private Healthcare in the UK Keep Growing?

Some suggest that, for many, paying for private healthcare could become “a new normal” in Britain:

  • In 2019, 199,000 people used their own funds to cover the costs of having an operation, or a diagnostic procedure, at a private hospital. In 2020-2021, the year the pandemic struck, this figure rose to 262,000. By 2022, the figure had risen to 272,000.
  • Beyond these 272,000 who paid for treatment themselves, an additional 547,000 used private medical insurance policies to pay for private healthcare.
  • In the second quarter of 2023, there were 12,000 more admissions paid for with private medical insurance compared with the same period in 2022 – a 9% increase.

Over the past few years, people have also had problems in accessing NHS dental care. At one point, patients in England were facing a three-year wait for dental appointments. This contributed to a rise in the number of people choosing to use private dental care providers.

What Does The Rise of PMI Mean for Businesses?

Businesses can help employees get the health and dental support they need when they need it. With a business health insurance plan, along with a dental insurance plan, employees can bypass long NHS waiting lists and get fast-track access to diagnostic appointments and treatments from private healthcare providers.

It’s likely as a result of frustrations with NHS waiting lists that healthcare benefits have been by far the most popular employee benefit for some years now. They provide employees with some much needed peace of mind. But they’re good for businesses too. They can help you attract and retain the top talent in your industry, and they can even contribute to a rise in staff retention, morale, and productivity.

If your business does not currently offer an employee healthcare plan, you should start exploring your options immediately. Otherwise, you could get left behind as employees in your sector look to work for businesses that do support their health and wellbeing.

If you’re concerned about the cost of an employee healthcare scheme, we can help you. Take a look at our guide to health insurance options for small business owners, as well as our guide to saving money on business health insurance.

What Does The Rise of PMI Mean For Insurers and Brokers?

Businesses can help their employees access private healthcare through offering health insurance as an employee benefit. As an insurer or a broker, you can in turn help businesses, their employees, and other members of the public through making health insurance more accessible. Here’s how:

  • Diversifying your lines – If you don’t currently offer health insurance products, now is the time to start. Or if you do, look for ways to bring your health insurance plans more in line with personal plans, so you can help people access bespoke cover that meets their exact needs.
  • Looking to technology – Look for ways you can leverage technology to offer embedded health insurance, so as to make healthcare cover as accessible and affordable as possible for as many people as possible.

Get Help With Your Health Insurance Plan

Whether you’re looking to invest in your first embedded health insurance plan, or you want to change or add to your current package, we’re here to help. We’ll work with you to deliver tailored insurance solutions that meet your unique requirements. We’ll take the time to understand your clients’ specific needs so that we can place them at the centre of everything we do.

Get in touch to find out more and see how we can help you.

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