Bupa response to ABI figures showing that more people have private medical insurance cover

Bupa response to ABI figures showing that more people have private medical insurance cover

Fiona Harris, director of Bupa UK Health Insurance, said: ‘The latest ABI figures reflect our own experience - growth in the number of people with PMI cover for the second year running, despite the current economic downturn.’

Whilst the NHS has recently met its 18-week waiting time target, a Bupa survey showed that more than eight out of 10 Britons feel this is still too long to wait for treatment and be left in pain, worrying about their health and watching their condition deteriorate further.

‘In today’s instant-access society, where you can order your shopping online with same day delivery, waiting 18 weeks ‘ or almost four-and-a-half months - for treatment is just too long.’

Bupa research also shows that more people are buying PMI because of fears about superbugs, such as MRSA and C.difficile and general hospital cleanliness.

‘That’s why, despite today’economic climate, our customers put PMI at the top of the list of things most difficult to cut back on to save money ‘more so than holidays (20 percent), eating out (10 percent), pensions and other long-term savings (19 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of them say that having PMI is very important, or vital to them.’

PMI is also high on the corporate agenda with employers being encouraged to take more responsibility for their employees’th and wellbeing needs. It comes second only to a pension as a desirable employee benefit, according to Bupa research.

‘We look after the health and wellbeing of 80 percent of FTSE 100 companies. Investing in corporate healthcare offers a triple win: better health for the individual; better productivity for the employer; and increased profitability for UK plc.

‘The current tax treatment of workplace health benefits is an obstacle which, if removed, would allow more companies to play their part in keeping Britain healthy. Our own research of corporate clients shows that nine out of ten employers want to see support from the Government. Half would invest more in employee health and wellbeing if there were financial incentives to do so,’ said Fiona.

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