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Private medical insurance on the rise

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The number of people covered by private medical insurance (PMI) broke the six million mark for the first time in five years, according to figures from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

In 2007, over six million people were covered by either personal or corporate PMI, with a further 1.1 million covered through healthcare trust arrangements. A total of 7.1 million people now have some form of private health cover in Britain.

The news coincides with publication by the ABI of a revised and improved consumer guide on PMI, which gives people a wealth of information to help ensure they buy a PMI policy that meets their needs.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance and health, said: “It’s good news that the popularity of private medical insurance continues to grow. Health insurance gives people access to the treatment they need, when they need it, offers greater privacy and better facilities, and reduces pressure on the NHS. And it enables employees to get back to work after illness or injury much more quickly than they otherwise would. This is good for companies and the economy, and is reflected in the rise in the number of people covered by corporate policies.

“The ABI’s updated consumer guide will help to improve knowledge of the benefits of PMI. It will also help people make the right decisions and know what their responsibilities are when they take out PMI. The guide sets all this out in clear language, helping customers through the process of taking out PMI.”

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