Following research by analysts Laing and Buisson, which found PMI policies to be up 1.3 per cent on 2007 but down 0.7 per cent on the last five years, Bupa UK Health Insurance head of personal markets Fiona Harris says tax on such policies is an obstacle for employers.
Despite some 4.2 million PMI policies at the start of 2008, Harris says there are some challenging times ahead.
She says: “Throughout 2007 we saw good overall growth in both corporate and individual PMI and the market’s sustained confidence has continued into this year, bucking the trend of the credit crunch.
“Although there has been a raft of government initiatives, feedback we have received suggests that the current tax treatment of workplace health benefits is an obstacle. Remove it and companies will have a real incentive to play their part in keeping Britain healthy.”
Author of the report economist Philip Blackburn says: “A second successive annual rise in PMI demand, although relatively modest, confirms the unfading popularity of private health cover.”