Younger adults are opening their minds to the concept of private medical insurance (PMI), according to BUPA’s annual Health of the Nation survey.
The survey, which monitors the general public’s attitudes and practices towards health and lifestyle, revealed that only 26% of those aged between 18 and 24 do not believe in private healthcare, a drop from 33% in 2000.
The reasons given by those asked for the rise in private health care amongst this demographic, include cleaner hospitals, no waiting lists, faster access to specialists, better treatment, choice and location of hospitals.
Thirty-eight per cent of those without PMI say they would consider paying for private healthcare, and 74% of those who already have it said they would recommend it to friends and family.
BUPA’s findings are strengthened by research from independent analyst Laing and Buisson, which found a rise in demand for private medical insurance for the first time in five years.
Stephen Flanagan, commercial director of BUPA UK membership, says: “Attitudes to personal healthcare are changing with the younger generation seemingly taking the lead with regards to being more responsible for their health and wellbeing rather than leaving it to chance.”
BUPA International have also launched a new 24 hour ‘Webchat’ feature on their website, which allows their 70,000 customers round the clock access to an advisor who can answer a number of queries regarding treatment and claims.
Director of BUPA International’s customer services, Paula Covey, said of the new feature that it can reduce the time spent waiting for replies to emails and extends the reach of contact.
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