The price of private medical insurance (PMI) is likely to increase after the National Institute for ...
The price of private medical insurance (PMI) is likely to increase after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced that Herceptin will soon be available on the NHS to women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer.
Insurance experts indicated that the NICE announcement will put pressure on employers who provide PMI. Mercer Human Resource Consulting warned that private healthcare costs will increase by up to £35,000 for each employee who is treated.
The firm advised employers who provide PMI for their staff to start preparing to increase their healthcare budgets from next month, as Herceptin "is likely to be incorporated into most private medical plans and so raise costs".
Stephen Clements, principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, said: "While some private medical insurers currently cover Herceptin treatment, the majority are expected to follow suit with the NHS and extend their policies from next month. Employers may then find themselves having to choose between accepting the change, requesting a specific exclusion or choosing a different, more restricted plan option."
Clements warned that insurers could face discrimination claims if they specifically exclude Herceptin from their plans.
"Even though the drug will be available through the NHS, it will be difficult to justify not covering it in a private plan without making alternative provisions when other, less serious, illnesses are included," explained Clements.
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