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PMI: how to tackle conversations about 'cost'

Published: 10 Feb 2015

New Year, new health commitments

Started a new weekly fitness routine? Altered your diet by eating fewer carbohydrates? Managed to complete ‘Dry January’?

These are all great ways to become healthier, yet a lot of these early promises are soon broken, and unfortunately we don’t maintain these new habits throughout the year.

As February is upon us and those New Year’s resolutions of changing old and bad habits into new, healthier habits seemed like a great idea – unfortunately it’s probable that these new goals are now an all too distant memory.

However, for your time-poor (see my previous blog where I discussed the theme of time pressures for the sandwich generation in more detail) and financially-pressured sandwich generation clients, some healthier intentions could be imperative for their health, lifestyle and wellbeing – especially when they share the financial responsibility of three generations.

Health provisions for the sandwich generation

Having conversations about putting appropriate health provisions in place for your sandwich generation clients could be fundamental, ensuring that their time is spent on those who need it the most, rather than waiting for treatment should they become ill or injured.

With a healthcare plan in place, such as a PMI (private medical insurance) policy, your clients can avoid waiting lists, meaning they can get back to supporting their children and parents accordingly.

Overcoming ‘cost’ conversations effectively

With PMI being perceived as a ‘luxury’ product amongst many, and cost seen as a barrier to purchasing - I’d like to let you know that this isn’t the case…

  • Talk about the value, rather than the cost

By explaining the value of PMI to your sandwich generation clients in terms of the importance of being in good health - given that they’re relied on for their time and financial support by two generations - they can gain peace of mind that they will have access to quick diagnosis and treatment should they need it.

  • Tailor a solution to your client’s unique needs

The PMI market is constantly evolving to engage products tailored to budgets and needs. So where a full PMI policy may not be fitting, there are alternative PMI products and modular plans available with differing levels of cover, such as a cash plan option.

This means there’s likely to be a solution that will provide the right level of cover, at the right price, which would mean that your clients could see the monthly premiums less than they first expected.

  • “Why would I spend money on healthcare when I can be treated by the NHS”

Encouraging your sandwich generation clients to take out a PMI policy, and look after their health needs can be difficult – particularly if they perceive PMI to be an unnecessary purchase with the NHS readily available.

However, with the NHS under pressure amidst conversations about funding and waiting times (a hot topic with the prospective general elections), the costs of not being seen promptly could affect your clients, and ultimately their families who rely on them so much.

This is where PMI can provide your clients with peace of mind, knowing they will have quick access to diagnosis and treatment if needed, allowing them to get on with their lives and devote time with those who depend on them the most.

You could use the behavioural science technique of ‘loss aversion’ - talking about how much a client stands to potentially lose by not being able to work, or care for themselves and their family due to ill health, against the financial cost of PMI.

This could also bring in the theme of ‘opportunity cost’ in that is there a true cost to your health should it be compromised.

Supporting your sandwich generation clients

Look out for my next update on HealthcareZone, where I will be discussing how PMI can support businesses that have employees within the sandwich generation.

Alternatively, you can also read my comments on PMI and the time-pressured sandwich generation, which is all about how your clients should be looking after their health now, and not putting it off.

To find out more about the sandwich generation, including access to useful guides and videos to help you have more effective conversations about PMI with your clients, visit the New Thinking area on HealthcareZone.

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Nick Reynolds, PMI Sales Director

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