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November 14, 2022

Almost a quarter of consumers find low premiums an essential feature of private medical insurance

By GlobalData Financial

More individuals are re-evaluating their insurance due to the cost-of-living crisis. In some cases, this means cancelling policies. National Friendly has launched a new private medical insurance (PMI) product to help consumers during this difficult period. MyPMI offers features including outpatient- or inpatient-only care as well as cancer diagnostics and treatment, with premiums varying across the four different coverage tiers available.

Respondents to GlobalData’s 2022 UK Insurance Consumer Survey stated that low premiums (23.6%) are a crucial component of PMI. This comes as more individuals evaluate their expenses amid the cost-of-living crisis. Meanwhile, coverage for hospital charges (44.2%), specialist/consultant fees (40.0%), and minor surgical procedures (37.9%) are the top three features consumers find essential in PMI policies – all of which are found in the tiered PMI offered by National Friendly.

Source: GlobalData’s 2022 UK Insurance Consumer Survey

The launch comes at a time when a record 7.0 million people are waiting to be referred for treatment by the NHS as of August 2022 – up from 4.2 million at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020) according to the British Medical Association. The NHS has an operational goal for waiting lists for cancer treatment that calls for at least 85% of patients to wait no longer than two months between a GP’s urgent referral and their initial course of therapy. However, as per NHS data this figure is at 61.9% as of August 2022. MyPMI offers quick access to a range of private healthcare services that would negate some of the waiting times and delays caused by the pandemic.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 85 can choose from MyPMI’s four levels of cover. The least expensive option, level 1, provides access to private GPs and consultants, scans, tests, and therapies as well as a few minor operations. Depending on the level of policy selected, the product provides quick access to a variety of private healthcare services as a complement to the treatment offered by the NHS.

Existing PMI policyholders may want to keep their cover in place, even if it means forgoing some features in light of the added financial stress brought on by the cost-of-living crisis. New customers might want to know how to cover their top concerns at a cost they can afford. National Friendly’s new offering should appeal to both sets of consumers by providing flexibility around coverage and price. Other insurers should look to follow suit.

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