While the subscription economy appears to be booming, a survey from Simplyhealth reveals just 13% of adults in the UK are paying monthly for health benefits.
And it appears the vast majority over-estimate how much health cover is likely to cost them.
The insurer’s survey found that 79% of adults in the UK were signed up to at least one monthly subscription service, spending on average £475 a year.
However, only 13% of people reported paying monthly for life insurance, or a health or dental plan and just 12% said they had subscriptions for fitness or wellbeing apps.
One in five adults admitted they had signed up to more subscription services during the pandemic, with 31% of 16-to-44-year-olds doing so, compared to just 13% of those over 55.
However, 96% of survey respondents said they remained focused on their holistic health, with almost half saying the pandemic has made them care more about their mental and physical wellbeing – 44% and 45%, respectively.
This trend was markedly higher among younger age groups – 53% of 16-24-year-olds said they cared more now about their mental health, dropping to 37% in the 55+ category.
Consumers overestimate plan costs
However, while 63% of respondents believed that they were aware or very aware of the benefits of health and dental plans, 45% overestimated how much dental plans can cost and 84% overestimated how much health plans can cost.
One in 10 respondents estimated a health plan would cost £76 or more per month.
Steve Ellis, head of employee benefit consulting at Prosperis, told Health & Protection that a good quality private medical insurance (PMI) plan for an average 40 year-old man or woman with no health conditions would likely cost around £38 to £42 per month with no excess, and around £5 per month less with a £100 excess.
Simplyhealth said it’s dental plans and health cash plans started at £9.55 and £7.50 per month respectively.
Commenting on the survey findings, Catherine Rutland, clinical director at Simplyhealth, said it was encouraging to see many people, particularly those in younger age groups, remaining focused on their overall health,
“But it’s surprising that relatively few pay monthly premiums for plans that can help support and maintain this,” she said.
“Our survey suggests there are misunderstandings around healthcare plans, in terms of both costs and benefits.
“Looking after your wellbeing isn’t always easy at the moment, so it’s really important that people are fully aware of the different options open to them and their families, and the benefits these can provide.”