Health insurer BCWA says that the insurance industry is failing to provide people with clear information about the benefits of private medical insurance.
Research finds that 83% of people could see themselves using savings or borrowing money to pay for one-off private medical treatment, rather than take out a PMI policy. Of those who would borrow money, 21% would approach family and friends and 18% would borrow from a bank or building society. 22% of those questioned said they would use their savings or borrow money to pay for private treatment overseas.
People say they would expect to pay over £8,000 for a hip replacement and in excess of £9,500 for a knee replacement and, according to BCWA, they could therefore end up saving money by taking out a PMI policy because in the UK, the average annual cost of cover that would include such treatments is £836.
For BCWA, Jack Briggs comments that consumers are no more aware of the cost of PMI than two years ago, when the firm undertook similar research. He believes that education is the key and that the full extent of healthcare options available needs to be promoted by insurers and brokers.
Private medical insurance: News update: November 2008