According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, the number of people holding medical insurance through work in the UK has reached record levels, while payouts have also set a new milestone in 2005.

The ABI’s latest Private Medical Insurance (PMI) figures show that GBP2.284 billion was paid out in claims in 2005, a record sum, while total gross earned premiums in 2005 was GBP2.984 billion. Meanwhile, a total of 6,550,000 people were covered through corporate or personal PMI subscriptions.

Richard Walsh, the ABI’s head of health and protection insurance, commented: Improving the health of the working population is one of the ABI’s top priorities.

The support of employers is vital in efforts to reduce absence through sickness and to improve health. The fact that they have consistently shown over recent years a willingness to provide employees with PMI benefits is encouraging and gives us a solid platform on which to build.