Comment: We need to encourage more young people to stay in corporate PMI schemes

PMI

We need to talk to young people about PMI without sounding like their mother, an old fogey or boring them half to death

A growing issue for private medical insurance (PMI) providers and intermediaries is how to stop the younger and fit (and therefore immortal in their own eyes) from opting out of a company-paid PMI scheme?

Those of us with a few more years and the odd health hiccup under our belt need little persuading that PMI is a highly valuable commodity. But in these financially stringent times, more value is placed on salary and good hard cash, rather than other employee benefits.

As each young, low risk member opts out, the risk of the group as a whole rises, with consequences for both the employer and employee. A good example is an SME group of 25 middle aged and fairly unhealthy members who posed an increasingly poor risk. The intermediary persuaded the client to extend the PMI offering to all staff – 180 in total including the existing members. The effect of moving from age-rated to claims-rated, and the benefit of including a much younger population only doubled the total premium for seven times the number of members. The single rate for a 30 year old in the expanded scheme was £1,000 cheaper but is still around £600 so how do you persuade the young and fit that the extra tax liability is worth it? Perhaps some communication noting the following could help:

If we can somehow persuade the younger generation that PMI really is a good idea, without sounding like their mother, an old fogey or boring them half to death – this could have a major impact on scheme risk and individual affordability for corporate members in the future.

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