DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/lvw4w7/uk_medical) has announced the addition of the "UK Medical Insurance Market Report 2015" report to their offering.
This report covers the market for medical insurance in the UK. Also known as health insurance or medical expenses insurance, this is a product designed to reimburse all or some of the costs incurred in the treatment of medical conditions, particularly when this treatment occurs in the private sector rather than on the National Health Service (NHS). However, some policies reimburse the cost of subsidised but fee-paying NHS services, such as dentistry or eyecare.
Medical insurance is often purchased to give the insured access to healthcare at a time that is convenient for them and with direct care from a consultant. It can also be used to access a variety of advanced treatment options that are not currently available on the NHS. Health cover may be paid for by the insured (who may extend it to their family if they choose) or by employers in various forms.
The figures from the ABI reveal the difficult time medical insurers have had of late, with sales shrinking in both volume and value terms over the past 5 years. Medical insurance is a highly discretionary product - the free care offered by the National Health Service (NHS) means it is not necessary in order to receive medical care in the UK. As such, during times of economic difficulty, such as those experienced in the UK since the financial crisis and subsequent recession, the industry struggles.
The number of subscribers to PMI schemes has fallen by 5.1% in the 5 years to 2014; this comes even as gross earned premiums have increased by 5% over the same period. The reason behind the market's rising value even as the volume of sales declines is evident in the fact that the value of claims has remained largely unchanged in recent years, even as the number of policies written, and thus the number of people eligible to claim, has fallen. The rising cost of medical treatment is a big part of this.
A sizeable proportion of this report is dedicated to mapping demographic changes. Between 1974 and 2014, the overall population grew by 14.7%, but the population of people aged 65 and over is up by 46.4%, while the number of people aged 85 and over is up by 189.8% over the same period. Older adults require more in the way of medical care and are contributing to the growing strain the NHS is being placed under. As the NHS is put under greater pressure at a time of constrained funding (public expenditure on healthcare increased by just 3.2% in 2013, only around a third of the increase seen in 2009), medical insurance could appear to consumers to be a favourable alternative to lengthening waiting lists on a cash-starved NHS.
For the purposes of this report, there are three main types of medical insurance policies discussed:
- Private medical insurance (PMI) - split into personal and corporate policies (i.e. either paid for by individuals or employers on behalf of their employees); PMI provides cover for medical expenses related to acute illnesses or injuries that arise after the beginning of the policy, with payments covering some or all of the fees associated with the condition, such as hospital charges, diagnostic tests, specialist treatments or operations, etc.
- Healthcare cash plans - these provide cash lump sums towards the cost of certain treatments, including optical, dental and other health treatments
- Healthcare trust schemes - a pot of money administered by an insurance company that employers (and sometimes employees) pay into to cover medical expenses incurred by employees; as they are administered by an insurance company and not written by one, they are not subject to insurance premium tax.
- Aig Europe Ltd
- April Uk (Insurance Services) Ltd
- Aviva Plc
- Axa Ppp Healthcare Ltd
- British United Provident Association Ltd (The)
- Cigna Insurance Services (Europe) Ltd
- Civil Service Insurance Society (The)
- Exeter Friendly Society Ltd
- Freedom Healthnet Ltd
- General & Medical Finance Ltd
- Personal Group Holdings Plc
- Saga Services Ltd
- Simplyhealth Group Ltd
- The Benenden Healthcare Society Ltd
- The Permanent Health Company Ltd
- Vitality Corporate Services Ltd
- Welsh Hospitals & Health Services Association
- Western Provident Association Ltd
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/lvw4w7/uk_medical