Private medical insurance industry has ‘stood up manfully’ to recent challenges, says Stuart Scullion
Speaking to Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) members at its first ever virtual AGM yesterday, the industry body's chair Stuart Scullion praised insurers and cash plan providers for "standing up to the task" of enhancing benefits, ensuring products continue to deliver value and introducing support measures to help consumers and businesses who may be struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
He also highlighted the work of the independent hospitals that passed over their entire hospital capacity "virtually overnight" as part of the historic NHS deal at the end of March.
Scullion said: "I believe our insurers and cash plan providers have stood up manfully to the tasks and challenges posed by the current circumstances we find ourselves in.
"They have continued to ensure that products deliver value and have supported those businesses and consumers who need them most."
Scullion continued his call for Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to be zero-rated in line with other long-term products as a means of reducing the strain on an "already over-stretched" NHS. This follows an announcement by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, of a further review into IPT.
Mr Scullion said: "With the NHS taking the frontline strain of the coronavirus, it has fallen to independent private hospitals to step in and support routine and ongoing NHS treatments. That situation cannot prevail indefinitely.
"At some stage the government is going to have to increase tax revenues in order to re-build our economy. Timing will be crucial, and I expect tax increases to be phased to ensure the recovery does not stall.
"As has been evidenced by recent events, a strong private health sector delivers invaluable benefits, and reduces the strain on an already over-stretched NHS."
During the virtual AGM meeting it was also announced that the Terms of Office for Mr Scullion, along with four members of AMII's Executive Committee, will be extended by a further year.
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