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What is Private Medical Insurance (PMI)?

PMI allows prompt diagnosis and treatment helping employees return to full health and make a speedy return to work, thereby reducing absenteeism. With NHS waiting times increasing, PMI remains a highly valued benefit to employees. However, there can also be a very high cost to provide this benefit.

Types of PMI

There are three main types of PMI scheme:

1. Fully medically underwritten
Where members are required to disclose their medical history, and any pre-existing conditions will be excluded.

2. Moratorium
Where there is an exclusion for pre-existing conditions for a specified period, typically two years.

3. Medical history disregarded
Where members are fully covered regardless of their medical history.

Considerations when reviewing the design of your PMI scheme

In addition to the type of scheme you elect to have in place, there are other factors that may influence the cost, such as:

  • Excess level
  • Level of outpatient treatment
  • Hospital list
  • Inclusion of psychiatric treatment

If a scheme does not have the right structure for your business, and is not managed effectively, you can see costs escalate.

What added-value might you be missing out on?

PMI remains a very highly valued benefit to employees and employers alike.

Whilst PMI provides access to treatments required immediately, providers’ offerings are developing and we now see additional services to include supporting preventative measures for general health and fitness.

PMI providers are increasingly offering added-value services, including:

Digital GP

This service can reduce the time that employees need to take out of work attending appointments, providing faster and more consistent access to medical care. Services can include:

  • Access to a NHS GP appointment service via video call
  • Prescriptions sent to your home address or local pharmacy
  • A choice of male or female consultants when booking appointments

Wellbeing services

These can often be made available to the whole workforce regardless of their PMI membership status. These services can often offer a suite of products, policies, advice and support to help employees. Services can include:

  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Bereavement and legal helpline
  • Stress helpline
  • Gym membership discount
  • Cancer work support service
  • Mental health therapy services
  • Employer support and manager training in various areas

Reviewing your employee benefits

In our new guide we’re giving you a checklist to help ensure three of your core benefits are delivering value for your business and your people;

  • Group Income Protection
  • Group Life Assurance
  • Private Medical Insurance


Get the guide