This piece I wrote for HR Magazine about Private Medical Insurance is live online. (It has been since December but I don’t always find out when features written for print mags make it onto the interweb)
Proud as the UK is of the NHS, it seems many companies still see state-funded health treatment as a potential black hole when it comes to lost productivity. Around 90% of UK businesses claim to offer private medical cover to some of their staff and spend on average around 7% of their total payroll costs on health benefits. Private cover is seen not only as a way to speed up treatment for staff but also an important perk.
But despite the popularity of private medical insurance (PMI), it is a benefit under siege. According to a recent report from financial services specialist Mercer, the cost of providing health benefits rose by an average of 5% in 2007. Further research conducted by the company in July this year, revealed that medical cover inflation is running at 10%, which means a plan that cost a company £1 million in 2008 could cost up to 60% more in five years’ time.
The result is that PMI could face the same fate as final-salary pensions, eventually becoming unsustainable for most companies to offer, unless there are radical changes in the structure and comprehensiveness of plans.
For more go to HR Magazine.