In a survey of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by Private Medical Insurance provider CS Healthcare, a third of 55 and overs (more than any other age group) were found to be anxious about standards of hospital cleanliness.
Fear over the NHS’s ability to tackle hospital acquired infections like MRSA – spread through dirty wards, overcrowding and poor hygiene – could be why almost a fifth of 55 and overs are saving for medical provision, regardless of being one of the groups hit hardest by the recession.
However, despite anxiety around health issues, the research found adults aged 55 and over are bewildered by PMI. Of the 55 and overs who had PMI, nearly 60% admitted they were confused when buying health insurance cover due to the number and variety of health insurance products on offer. A fifth said they became so confused by the entire process they found it impossible to compare like for like.
David Royle, Chief Executive of CS Healthcare said “The UK public is sometimes presented as being unconcerned about their health, which is clearly not the case. However, the fact that people are saving or prepared to break into their precious savings, especially in today’s economic climate, signals that there is not only concern over the NHS’s ability to cope, perhaps unfairly, but also confusion about the role and cost of PMI.”
The CS Healthcare research asked specific questions about the perceived cost of private medical insurance and found that, on average, 64% of over 55s expected PMI to be more expensive than the actual starting price policy of £19.98 per month – with 20% expecting to pay over £50 pounds per month.
Royle continued: “PMI can be a low cost route to peace of mind when it comes to medical treatment. However, as an industry, we need to break down misconceptions over cost and make our products clear and easy to buy.”