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Millennials risk missing out on workplace insurance

Millennials risk missing out on workplace insurance

Millennials could be missing out on the benefits associated with private medical insurance (PMI) as they are opting for more 'relatable' benefits instead, The Health Insurance Group has claimed.

Brett Hill, managing director of The Health Insurance Group, said the consultancy has experienced that employers find it difficult to engage their younger staff with private healthcare benefits, resulting in workers missing out on the additional perks a plan may bring.

He said: "Providing holistic health and wellbeing to employees is great to support and encourage a happy and healthy workforce.

"However, it’s clear that more needs to be done to ensure employees understand how the benefit can be applicable to them, so they can use them when needed."

According to Mr Hill, younger employees are overlooking the more complicated benefits offered to them – including PMI – in exchange for workplace benefits they feel are more 'accessible' and 'easy to understand'.

Responsible for this lack of uptake is the fact the benefits and cost of PMI plans is not being clearly understood, he said.

In addition to this, workplace insurance's status as a ‘taxable benefit’ may be off putting to many, he added.

Mr Hill also posited that the additional benefits associated with PMI - such as discounted gym memberships and travel insurance – could help offset the premium. This would result in better value for money than many would expect.

He added millennials are more likely to overlook PMI due to a belief they are less likely to suffer from ill-health than previous generations.

However, a recent report from the Health Foundation found that young people, specifically those from a disadvantaged background, may have a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in middle age than their parents.

These claims follow the recent move of private medical insurer WPA Group to instate a new app that allows users to arrange consultations with a specialist within two to three minutes. 

Technological shifts such as this may be demonstrative of a shift in attitudes towards this generation as medical insurers attempt to entice a younger market.

Tom Conner, director at Drewberry, commented: "Really it comes down to an education piece on the part of the employer and adviser, with the first step being for the adviser to educate the employer fully on what additional benefits are available with the policy.

"Additional benefits are so good and valuable these days that they should really be discussed when the client is deciding which provider to go with.

"It's then down to the adviser to offer to help with employee communications. For larger companies it's common for the employee benefits adviser to even do presentations to employees."

Eleni Nicolaou is an intern with Financial Adviser