The role and contribution of private health insurance

The role and contribution of private health insurance

Frontier was commissioned by AXA Health UK to analyse the insurer’s contribution to the UK economy and society, intending to re-start a discussion about the role of private medical insurance and its potential benefits.

Some key findings in the report include:

  • AXA Health contributes benefits worth up to £442 million to the UK economy every year
  • Private Medical Insurance (PMI) supports faster returns to work, boosting productivity and reducing benefits payments
  • Reducing barriers to take up of private health insurance could help  the NHS, the economy and individuals across the country

The NHS is, and has been, under very significant resource pressure.  The NHS will continue to be the main source of healthcare for everyone.  Given current pressures it is important to examine ways to supplement NHS care.  Private healthcare can offer an alternative option and is often provided to employees by their employer. The 10 million people in the UK who already have PMI often experience fast treatment and reassurance about the timing and nature of treatment.

Increasing the take up of PMI helps with:

  • Faster return to work from ill health: We estimate that private health cover can reduce sickness benefits claims by at least £7.2m per year.
  • Improving quality of life: If patients are treated sooner, they return to better health more quickly, improving their quality of life. We estimate that the total impact on quality of life from faster treatment due to private health cover is worth about £350m per year.
  • Boosting productivity: We estimate that private health cover reduces lost productivity by more than £32m per year.
  • Reducing reliance on sickness benefits through faster access to appointments and treatment. This is evidenced in the report across three areas: mental health, cancer and musculoskeletal.

Alongside cost, cultural barriers may be important in limiting take-up of PMI.  Encouraging a shift in the perception of PMI could help improve health and economic outcomes for many.

To read the full report, please click here.

For further information please contact or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000.