Written by: Griffiths & Armour on: 30 Mar 2023
The benefits of Private Medical Insurance
Employers are being increasingly impacted by stresses in the UK healthcare system.
NHS waiting list data indicates that employers whose workforces are heavily reliant on NHS support will be increasingly affected.
Broadstone Financial Solutions Limited, a firm Griffiths & Armour have worked alongside for many years, are specialists in all forms of employee benefits. They are ideally placed to support businesses putting in place Private Medical Insurance (PMI) for the first time, reviewing existing cover or repurposing a healthcare strategy for their people.
Simon Pickerill at Broadstone discusses the threats to workforce health and how employers can respond.
As the NHS waiting list reaches 7.2m, the number of working age adults economically inactive due to long-term sickness approaches 2.5m.
The Office of National Statistics shows the number of working age adults who are economically inactive due to long-term sickness has increased by 25% since 2019.
British Medical Association figures show that during the same period the NHS waiting list (England) has grown by 63%, climbing from around 4.4m in 2019 to reach 7.2m by the end of 2022. The numbers have also risen across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Perhaps more worrying for employers, research by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows the health of those actively in work is deteriorating. They report 30% of working adults carrying at least one medical condition (up by 13% since 2019), and over 10% of working adults are carrying two or more medical conditions (up 20% since 2019).
Against a worsening outlook for employee health, many employers are recognising the business case for investing in employee healthcare. Broadstone data shows that their Bupa company PMI customers increased the number of employees covered on their scheme by 6% on average during 2022.
While employers battle to retain and recruit talent, and salary expectations are on the rise, PMI has become the most popular company funded employee benefit after pensions.
Interest in private healthcare amongst the public has grown. Data from the Private Hospital Information Network makes clear that levels of self-funded private hospital treatment have increased by 33% since 2019. Even as the cost of living increases, people are increasingly paying for access to private healthcare. This is a clear indication that employees today will recognise the value of a company funded PMI plan more than ever before.
Innovations by insurers have made PMI more affordable and the costs more controllable. They include development of directional care pathways through which insurers play an active role in guiding members to preferred consultant and clinic networks. These plans can significantly reduce premium costs compared to traditional PMI and can be an affordable way of extending coverage to those employees not covered by an employer’s existing PMI scheme.
If you have any questions about the contents of this article, please click below to submit your enquiry to Griffiths & Armour Client Services Director, Jack Wolstencroft, who will be happy to help.