Millennials are typically a hard to reach group when it comes to engaging with private medical insurance (PMI), as offered by their employer. But the benefits are numerous to both employee and employer, so how can organisations get their millennials on board with PMI?

Explain the tax reality

As PMI is a “benefit in kind”, millennials are simply put off with it being a taxable benefit. When they are used to having benefits such as fresh fruit Fridays, and cash plans – that enable them to claim back for things like dentistry, PMI can seem more complex. They can therefore overlook it, in favour of more accessible and relatable benefits.

The reality is that an annual £300 PMI premium for a younger employee, where the individual is paying 20% of that premium in tax, would equate to it costing just £5 of their salary each month. This alone can surprise employees, upon learning it is much more affordable than they originally thought.

Highlight the benefits

A common assumption is that PMI would mainly benefit older generations, who are more likely to need medical services than younger generations. However, research has found that millennials could be the first generation to suffer worse health than their parents when they reach middle age due to “lifestyle diseases” such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

It’s important for employees to stay on top of their health: tackling issues before they turn into anything more serious; and it’s important for employers too, to maintain a healthy and happy workforce. PMI can offer support with rapid diagnosis for health issues, early intervention and subsequent treatment, as well as healthy eating and exercise advice to help prevent many concerns arising in the first place.

Don’t forget the extras

Some millennials are renowned for being more health conscious, by exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They may be happy to pay £50-£100 for monthly gym membership, for example, but aren’t aware that their company PMI may include a 50% discount on a gym.

Millennials also love to travel, spending £150bn on tourism each year, yet are unaware that PMI may include travel insurance.

Communication

It’s important than employees understand the correlation between their lives and the benefits on offer, to increase uptake and usage of PMI. Tailoring communications to reach different age brackets can be useful here.

PMI can mean shorter waiting times for medical appointments, which may appeal to older generations, but highlight what’s relevant to younger employees, such as discounted gym membership and travel insurance which may be more attractive to them. The more relevant benefits are to their age, lifestyle and circumstances, the more likely they are to utilise what is on offer to them.

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