Record NHS wait times have meant clients are now more aware of the importance of their own health and expect to pay more for treatment in future as well.
This is according to advisers participating in a panel session at Health & Protection’s inaugural Health Summit last week.
Sam Hudson, managing director of Assured Futures, revealed the single biggest day-to-day spike his firm saw in enquiries in recent years occurred was after the December 2019 general election.
“I just assumed we’d had a problem with our IT system because there was so many new enquiries on the day after,” Hudson (pictured centre) said.
“But as soon as we got talking to enquiries, it emerged it was purely because customers thought the NHS was about to be abolished.
“I think if you take that extreme and you take where the Labour Party might be on greater cooperation with the NHS, I think people now see private practice and private medical provision as part of the future healthcare system.”
Hudson added he thought customers were getting used to the idea of having to contribute more for their own healthcare.
“I think they expect to have to contribute more in future. So we want to overlay all the headlines about access to the NHS, I think people are just thinking it’s really important, the pandemic has proved that health is the most important thing we all have.
“They are prepared to pay more. They’re cost conscious. But they are expecting to pay more into the future as well.”
Penny Jackson, director of the Insurance Boutique, agreed – adding customers were having more first hand experiences of not being able to access services.
“It has pushed them in the direction of ‘I need this product – I’ve been thinking about it’. It’s actually making them buy it,” Jackson (pictured left) continued.
“So, people are making decisions much quicker. It’s making our jobs easier I would say because you’re not having to persuade them to buy the product – if you literally give them the quote, they want to take it.”