Making health insurance more accessible for the mass market

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1 insurance services Making health insurance more accessible for the mass market Recent waiting time figures show the NHS is creaking at the seams as it finds it increasingly difficult to deliver the required 20bn of costs savings by 2015, whilst maintaining front-line services. Many leading health professionals believe the situation is getting worse, as the NHS faces a perfect storm of structural reform and the need to make savings, at a time when demand for care is growing rapidly. For example, according to recent research, the number of people with three or more long-standing illnesses will increase by 60% by There has been a 43% increase in the number of NHS patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment since May is likely to be a pivotal year as the Health and Social Bill continues to make its way through legislation and the structural reforms bite. As longer waiting times and postcode lottery rationing of non-essential treatment by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) becomes more widespread, opportunities for affinity partners to meet consumers needs with complementary health insurance products are fast emerging. The greatest need and potential is in the mass market (see Figure 1). So, what does it require to unlock the revenue potential in this space? The market opportunity clearly exists According to Mintel¹, around 27% of the UK population have some form of health insurance. Of this, 16% have Private Medical Insurance (PMI) with a further 5% owning Health or Hospital Cash Plans. 1

2 Ownership levels rise with affluence, with PMI in particular concentrated within the higher net worth segment (household incomes above 50,000). This segment of the market is generally well served through workplace provision and by advisers. Even though the blue collar (C2D) end of the market is typically served with supplementary budget health products (which cover accidental death, disability and hospitalisation benefits), as the diagram below shows, the main opportunity to extend the range of products on offer is in the mass market around 40 million people in total. Figure 1: Opportunities in the UK Health and Protection market, split by NRS social grading Note: the percentage shown in brackets denote the approximate % of the UK population. Market potential Mass Market A (4%) Higher managerial, administrative and professional B (22%) Intermediate managerial, administrative and professional C1 (29%) Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial, administrative and professional C2 (21%) Skilled manual workers D (15%) Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers E (8%) State pensioners, casual and lowest grade workers, unemployed with state benefits only Highest level of PMI ownership Around 40 million of the UK population The primary market opportunity for those who generally cannot afford full blown PMI Require simple affordable health, life and accident products Approximate average net annual income for the chief income earner A - 37,500; B - 30,000; C1 20,000; C2-18,000; D - 15,000: E Source: National Readership Survey data 2

3 Concerns continue to grow amongst medical professionals and consumers about the state of the NHS as the cutbacks increasingly affect front-line services. In particular, its ability to meet patients needs for access, diagnosis, treatment of non-life threatening conditions and recovery procedures, along with delivering the high quality care people have come to expect after many years of increased funding. According to Mintel, 15% of people have some money set aside to pay for the costs of medical treatment. But with savings, employer and welfare state provision all under intense pressure, the ability of consumers to pay for unforeseen medical costs is likely to reduce. Many affinity players enjoy significant distribution advantages in the mass market channels, such as branch, internet, telephone and database marketing. By working with a specialist and highly experienced partner, such as FirstAssist, our affinity partners are very well placed to unlock the significant potential that exists within this market. Simple, affordable and accessible solutions The opportunity is to deliver a suite of simple, affordable and accessible products to cater for growing mass market customer needs. These needs broadly fall into a number of areas: l Funding to ensure quicker diagnosis of problems, by-passing ever lengthening NHS waiting times l Provision of cash benefits to help pay for treatments, procedures, recovery and rehabilitation, some of which are increasingly being rationed by PCTs 3

4 l Insuring against some or all of the costs of unexpected treatments l Everyday medical fees and expenses such as dentistry, where accessibility and the range of care available under the NHS is continually being reduced l Lump sum payments upon diagnosis of a critical illness to help clear any debts and the cost of adapting to changing circumstances l Additional funds to pay the bills whilst unable to work and/or to help pay for those recovery costs not covered under the NHS l 24/7 support and counselling to overcome any issues accessing GPs Figure 2: Critical design features for mass market healthcare products Easy for all parties to understand Product longevity Robust compliant processes Critical Design Features No barriers to claim Quick and easy to sell Value for money with high usage rates Drives higher levels of trust, a greater propensity to buy and greater retention levels The diagram above illustrates what we believe are the critical tests which any product designed for the mass market must pass. It serves as a useful checklist against which new products should be assessed, with the key issue to address being the way products are designed and sold. 4

5 Hitting the sweet spot The opportunities in the mass market for health insurance are growing rapidly and will continue to do so as the NHS struggles to deliver the required cost savings and structural changes, without impacting on front-line services. We are using our expertise to develop a suite of simple, affordable and accessible low-cost health insurance solutions which aim to have broad mass market customer appeal. Our capabilities have been further enhanced following our acquisition by Cigna, giving us access to a much The opportunities in wider range of health, life and the mass market for accident products than before, with the benefit of Cigna s global expertise in this space. health insurance are growing rapidly. The approach we are taking ensures that the voice of the customer, our distribution partners and of the regulator are all taken into account to deliver TCF-friendly products which generate value for both the customer and our partners. We are confident that these solutions will allow our partners to unlock the potential in this increasingly attractive market, and in doing so provide considerable revenue opportunities and enhanced customer loyalty. ¹ Mintel, Private Medical and Health Cash Plans UK (August 2011) To find out more, please contact Fiona Lloyd-Williams, Head of Sales and Client Management at or on

6 For over two decades, FirstAssist Insurance Services has been a silent partner in our markets working behind many of the UK s largest brands. We deliver specialist and bespoke white-label insurance solutions which generate many millions of pounds of additional income for our clients each year whilst extending their customer propositions. In that time, we have built an enviable reputation as one of the UK's leading providers of white-label solutions across our core areas of insurance expertise: travel, protection, budget health and legal protection. Driven as a specialist business by an entrepreneurial, commercial management team, we provide a unique range of products and flexible marketing solutions for banks, insurers, affinity organisations, corporations, intermediaries and small and mediumsized enterprises. FirstAssist Insurance Services was acquired by Cigna in November 2011, which further enhances our capabilities with access to a broader range of health, life and accident products and the benefits of Cigna s global expertise and infrastructure. We provide award-winning levels of customer service to nearly three million customers. With over 160 individually tailored schemes through major UK brands, we know one size does not fit all. From the commercial arrangements to the regulatory relationship, from a full service stand-alone product proposition to wholesale risk provision, we will custom-design the perfect solution to meet your customers and businesses needs. insurance services FirstAssist Insurance Services Limited, Marshall s Court, Marshall s Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4DU Registered in England & Wales No Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority

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