Private Medical Insurance - UK - October 2016
“Providers must continue their efforts in regards to cost containment and product innovation, incorporating new digital technology to develop attractive propositions that meet the changing needs of consumers and to ensure the market’s future sustainability.”
Sarah Hitchcock, Senior Analyst – Financial Services
This report looks at the following areas:
- Adapting to an ageing population
- The challenge of balancing choice and simplicity
The market comprises two main sectors: personal and corporate. The corporate sector is much larger in terms of the number of people covered, and more stable. In contrast, the personal sector is in long-term steady decline, based on the number of subscribers. Yet it remains an important revenue stream, accounting for more than two fifths of premium income.
One of the major barriers to stemming this decline is product affordability – or, at least, perceived affordability. For this reason, company strategy tends to be focused on containing costs, alerting customers to the range of options that exist to help them reduce their premiums, and developing new lower-cost solutions.
Taking these issues into consideration, Mintel’s consumer research explores attitudes toward private healthcare and health insurance. It reveals what proportion of the non-insured are open to the idea of taking out a policy in the future and identifies the types of policy people are most interested in, as well as the benefits they consider the most appealing. It also looks at the claims experiences of existing policyholders and their short-term plans in regards to policy upgrades, downgrades, cancellations and switching.
For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following product definitions:
- Private medical insurance (also known as private health insurance) is designed to cover the costs of private treatment for what are commonly known as acute medical/surgical conditions (ie curable, short-term illnesses or injuries). The main advantage of having this cover is that it ensures prompt access to treatment should the policyholder become ill or injured.
- Policies are either fully underwritten (requiring the policyholder to disclose their full medical history) or written on a moratorium basis (the policyholder needs to give more limited information and the policy excludes pre-existing conditions, whether or not diagnosed).
Alongside traditional PMI policies, there are a number of product variants. These include:
- Condition-specific policy – covers the cost of private treatment for a specified condition or conditions, typically cancer and heart disease.
- Treatment-only policy – covers the cost of private treatment and aftercare following an initial diagnosis on the NHS.
- Treatment specific policy – this differs from the above in that it is designed to cover the cost of certain specified treatments, such as physiotherapy, psychiatry and alternative therapy.
- Diagnostic-only policy – a lower-cost policy, which is designed to cover the cost of the initial consultation/diagnosis, including diagnostic tests (eg MRI, CT, PET scan).
What you get
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Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.
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* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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