Author and publisher: Ian Youngman, independent writer and analyst
Published: January 2011
Report summary: Hospital Treatment Plans: Market report 2011
Increasingly, we are seeing responsibility moving from the state and employers to individuals when it comes to health. There is even talk of banning the obese and smokers from free NHS treatment.
The alternative to NHS treatment has always been either self-pay or private health insurance. To keep control over costs, health insurers tend to restrict treatment to certain approved hospitals. Although some insurers have become more mature on their approach to the NHS, there are still insurers and intermediaries selling private medical insurance by attacking the NHS. Private health insurance is good, but many of the problems that people need to solve, such as cosmetic surgery or obesity, are excluded from most private health insurance.
In the last decade the number of people buying their own private health insurance, even with figures being bulked up by treating the self-employed and small businesses as individual customers, has fallen year on year. The corporate market has had ups and downs but fell in 2009. The PMI market has also lost business to self-funding and health cash schemes. Despite product innovation, budget products, and market concentration, PMI continues to struggle.
If you pay for your own healthcare without insurance, you benefit financially from arranging cheaper treatment in the UK or overseas. If you buy insurance, the insurer benefits from any costs savings. Costs savings are often related to which hospital or consultant is used, and insurers may not allow the customer to choose this. If you find the NHS can give as good or better treatment than privately, the only beneficiary of this is the insurer. Hospital treatment plans are an insurance that pays out for almost any treatment needed. The customer decides when and where treatment is carried out, and whether it is private or NHS.The customer gets a fixed sum.
Hospital treatment plans are not a new idea, they have been around in the UK since 1992.Early models failed, as did some providers offering them. The modern versions are better, but are they an answer to some of the problems that health insurance has?
‘Hospital Treatment Plans’ is the third in a new series of short reports looking at new products and products with potential in the UK financial services sector.
Written by long-established and experienced analyst Ian Youngman, who has had three books on financial services and hundreds of market reports published. He also has practical city experience in marketing and research for top financial services companies. Each report is completely independent.
- Executive summary
- Strategic overview
- The Need
- The Potential