A system with a mixture of providers and funders is the way forward if the UK health system is going to work, according to an industry expert.
Nick Bosanquet, consultant director at Reform and professor of health policy at Imperial College London, told delegates at the AMII event that a pluralistic funding system was necessary for healthcare provision to work in the UK.
According to Prof Bosanquet, private providers should step in where the NHS fails to deliver: "Lifestyle supportive services won't be offered on the NHS, so maybe private medical insurance (PMI) providers could offer more specific and detailed services to fill this gap. That way, there will be scope for keeping premiums below £100 a month, making PMI both affordable and accessible."
He added that the private sector "should stop being apologetic about its role", and instead see itself as making less essential treatments more affordable.
"As health insurance develops, it's entering a new era of hope as the era of it being an NHS accessory finishes," he said.
Prof Bosanquet added that the problems the NHS will be facing during the next few years should not be underestimated. "The NHS will have severe problems in meeting demands," he said.
He pointed out that lifestyle indicators are showing a steady increase for the worse - with both alcohol and obesity problems being on the up - while the demand on the services offered by the NHS has increased. The declining number of young tax payers and the growth of the older population will also cause major problems for the public healthcare sector.
In addition, the rise in prevalence of more chronic diseases such as renal failure and learning disabilities will add further strain to the already stretched NHS budget.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.