Healthcare Cash Plan and Private Medical Insurance Market - UK - September 2012
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How many people are aware about the costs of private healthcare?
- Have price comparison websites made a breakthrough in the PMI and HCP markets?
- Can the government help to boost demand for PMI and lower the burden on the NHS?
- Have planned changes to the NHS boosted interest towards private medical insurance?
About the UK Healthcare Cash Plan and Private Medical Insurance Market
A depressed economy and a squeeze on household incomes has had a negative impact on the private medical insurance and health cash plan markets, as the value and volume of new sales declined in both markets during 2011. Given the ongoing economic challenges, and the return to a technical recession, and there is little to suggest that new sales will improve during 2012 as persistently high unemployment and low consumer confidence hits spending on discretionary items, such as private medical insurance. As a result, the focus will continue to be on customer retention as high levels of churn have increased acquisition costs and reduced the return on investment when it comes to obtaining new customers. Despite widespread support for the NHS, uncertainty about waiting lists and the general standards of healthcare in the NHS could increase interest towards private medical insurance. Providers need to educate consumers about the value of private medical insurance, and focus on positive aspects such a quick access to specialists and procedures in order to capitalise on government changes to the NHS.
One of the long term challenges to the UK private medical sector is spiralling medical costs, which is putting pressure on insurers’ margins. Additionally, the referral of the private healthcare market to the Competition Commission could have an impact on future operations, if the decision adversely affects certain business practices. However, the final verdict on the private healthcare market could lead to improvements in the sector and could be a positive step in the long term.
This report examines the PMI and HCP markets, analysing some of the main challenges currently facing the overall industry. Analysis also covers the wider economic conditions, recent innovations and distribution trends in the PMI and HCP markets. There is a full breakdown of market size, with a forecast showing the expected growth over the next five years. The report concludes with Mintel’s exclusively commissioned research exploring product ownership, purchasing and switching intentions and a look at consume attitudes towards the NHS and private medical insurance.
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