Private health insurance popular despite recession
British consumers are increasingly turning to private insurance for their healthcare needs despite the deepening recession.
Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that the number of people covered by private medical insurance (PMI) increased 2.7% in 2008, compared with 2007.
By the end of 2008, 6.2 million people were paying premiums on private health insurance.
A further 1.1 million people were covered through arrangements with the healthcare trust.
ABI director general Nick Starling said corporate PMI makes sense for companies and employees.
“PMI is good for companies and the economy because it enables employees to get back to work after illness or injury as quickly as possible,” he said.
Fiona Harris, director of Bupa UK Healthcare Insurance, added: “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.”
She added that in “today’s instant access society” people expect immediate treatment of health problems, rather than being placed on an NHS waiting list.