Cost is main barrier to PMI provision

More than two-thirds (42%) of respondents said the main barrier to offering private medical insurance (PMI) to employees is that the organisation cannot afford it, according to research by Bupa.


Its research, which surveyed more than 1,000 senior decision-makers, found that 28% of respondents that do not offer private healthcare to employees would be more likely to do so if it was more affordable, while 17% would do so if they believed it was better value.

More than half (53%) of respondents that do offer private medical insurance to staff said employees consider it to be a standard work benefit.

The research also found:

  • 42% of respondents cited their employees’ health and keeping them in work as the key reason for offering the benefit.
  • 37% of respondents said there needs to be greater transparency in the private healthcare sector.
  • 50% of respondents believe the private healthcare sector needs to be overhauled.

Dr Damien Marmion (pictured), managing director of Bupa UK, said: “The research clearly shows a strong appetite for private healthcare, from both employers and employees alike, but many are calling for lower costs and a clearer demonstration of quality from the sector.

“We believe more organisations want to provide healthcare to more of their staff because we are already seeing a growth in demand from the banking sector.

“If the industry does not work together to address these issues around cost and drive improvements to quality and transparency, the sector will continue to decline. We must reform to grow the sector so that more people can access private healthcare services.”