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Business Health Insurance Premiums on the Rise for SMEs

We can all expect prices to rise however the price increases in the business health insurance market appears to be more prevalent in small to medium enterprises (SME's). Medical inflation in this area of industry is outstripping larger organizations, and has increased by as much as 10% already in 2011. We have seen an average annual price increase per member of £78.

In new data released by Mercer; small to medium sized companies are paying higher premiums to offer their staff private medical insurance. When looking at the difference in costing between SME's and large companies in the UK and Ireland, since 2010, business medical insurance costs have increased by 10% and for larger companies this has only been 4.9%.

The average annual company health insurance premium per member is now £1,532; up from £1,499 in 2010 – these increases are driven by a variety of factors: One could well be the fact that insurers are looking to recover lost margins from offering reduced premiums in an attempt to retain more business during the recession.

There are also very prevalent increases in the cost of healthcare; this is a world-wide phenomenon as more and more expensive diagnostic and prescriptive technology is used. We have local concerns too, with an aging UK workforce putting even more pressure on the already increasing costs of of both the public and private healthcare markets.

There are measures we can take to help contain the costs of your group health insurance scheme. Reviewing your existing health and protection arrangements can result in considerable tangible savings. We use our expertise in the market to ensure you have a product which fits the needs of your business whilst using our buying power to find you the most competitive rates.

The private healthcare market has been receiving a great deal more attention in the UK as the move towards individual responsibility becomes more wide-spread. The burden on the state has increased to such an extent that waiting times and the general service is at breaking point.

Employees are recognising the cultural shift with many looking to the individual market if they are unable to receive cover from their employer. Those employees who are lucky enough to receive health insurance through their employer recognise the benefits, it is a great tool when attracting and retaining the best staff, as well as helping to keep your work-force fit and healthy .

Michael Barrow was absolutely awesome, professional and truly helpful all the way setting up our insurance policy, made it super easy to select the right one. Highly recommend him for everyone. Thank you so much for your hard work Michael.

Istvan Szabo
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