Private sector workers 'more likely to have private medical insurance'
March 08, 2012
A survey has shed light on access to private medical insurance in the public and private sectors.
People working in the public sector are much more likely to have to buy their own private medical insurance than those in the private sector, a study has found.
Nearly a quarter of public sector workers believe they get better employee benefits than workers in the private sector, according to research by MetLife.
But the company found that in fact, just three per cent of public sector workers have access to private medical insurance, compared with ten per cent of workers in the private sector.
The nationwide survey also revealed that private sector workers are more likely to have access to income protection (15 per cent versus six per cent) and life assurance (24 per cent versus four per cent).
However, public sector staff are significantly more likely to have more than the statutory minimum of paid holiday, and have better access to pension schemes with employer contributions.
Stephanie Baillie, employee benefits director at MetLife, said: "The private sector versus public sector debate has understandably focused on the cost and provision of pensions but in reality the picture is more complex.
"Employees in the private sector benefit from access to a wider range of other employee benefits which should be factored into any discussion."
Access to private medical insurance could become more important in the future, as a recent survey of GPs by Doctors.net.uk revealed that most believe the NHS will have to ration more treatments in future.