Health Cash Plans - UK - October 2014
“Mintel’s research shows that just 7% of non-HCP owners said that they had never heard of the product. This represents an excellent level of product awareness, but the opinions about premiums suggest that insurers are failing to either get their price message across, or to make full use of their low cost in marketing the plans.”
– Rich Shepherd, Research Analyst – Financial Services
This report discusses to following key topics:
- Insurers have got prices right but are failing to get the message across
- Covering prescriptions can help define HCPs position in the market
The health cash plan (HCP) market has experienced a difficult period in the last decade. The number of plans sold, the number of people covered by HCPs, and the value of premiums have all fallen since the start of the recession. In 2013, however, the market returned to modest growth in volume terms, and recorded the second successive annual growth by value as consumers started to feel the first benefits of the economic recovery.
Health cash plan providers are currently operating at near-record margins due to falling claims costs in recent years. However, because of squeezed budgets and the resistance of many consumers to return to pre-recession spending habits, insurers are struggling to return ownership of HCPs to the kind of numbers seen in the 1990s.
This report examines the HCP market as a whole. It looks at the main internal and external market drivers affecting HCP providers. The report includes an analysis of the market size, with a forecast for the next five years, and discusses the main market players. There is a discussion of recent market innovations, a SWOT analysis, and analysis of the channels to market, including the role of intermediaries. Finally the report includes Mintel’s exclusive consumer research. This starts by looking at ownership of health insurance policies, and other means of paying for medical costs. The research then looks at the ways people researched their HCPs, why people don’t have an HCP, and which features consumers would like to see included in plans. The report also examines the usage of routine and non-routine medical services.
Health cash plans are insurance policies that are designed to provide assistance with day-to-day costs that can be incurred because of healthcare needs. They differ from private medical healthcare in that policyholders are not covered for specific illnesses. Rather, HCPs provide payments for treatments such as dental and optical treatment, and help cover costs for time spent in hospital. Many HCP providers now include benefits such as health advice tools like helplines and online portals, and partnerships with gyms and health centres, to help customers improve their health.
Health cash plans can be arranged either individually or by companies on behalf of their employees. They are either individual-paid, which includes individual plans and corporate ones where the employees pay their own premiums, or company-paid, where the employer pays all premiums.
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