Health Insurance Policy: Key Policy Work


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Important Policy Work

The ABI works across many areas of health policy. They include campaigning for Insurance Premium Tax, creating consumer guides to explain and encourage health insurance products, and improving how insurers request and receive medical information from GPs. ABI issues regular guidance to its members and reviews the Concordat & Moratorium on Genetics and Insurance. It also demonstrates how health insurance can be beneficial for society as a whole.

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We collaborate closely with our members and regulators to ensure the UK’s implementations of the Insurance Distribution Directive (GDPR) and the General Data Protection Regulation, renewal pricing and value measures, as well as the challenges presented by an ageing population. ABI members also have the opportunity to learn about the regulation being developed by Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority.

The ABI is a member of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations. It is currently working with its members to develop the Insurance Capital Standard. It is also a member Insurance Europe, where it is involved in all areas of insurance including the Insurance Europe Health Platform.

Genetics and Insurance

A long-standing agreement between the ABI and the Department of Health and Social Care, DHSC, has been in place regarding how insurers use genetic information. This is known as Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance.

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This agreement has been in effect since 2001. It states that customers can obtain insurance for critical illness, income protection and life insurance without disclosing their genetic test results. Only one exception is made to this agreement. Applicants for life insurance over PS500,000 must disclose Huntington’s disease predictive test results. This is due to the high probability of Huntington’s Disease diagnosis if the gene is present.

Current work of the ABI on genetics revolves around maintaining and improving the Concordat/Moratorium and ensuring that it continues to be useful for consumers, insurance companies, and government. This is what the ABI does by:

  • The agreement explains how it works and gives customers reassurance
  • Reporting on industry compliance with the agreement
  • Education of member companies on how to handle genetic data
  • You can find a copy of the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance here.

Access to Medical ReportsThe ABI published Principles for electronically requesting and obtaining medical data from GPs. The ABI created these Principles with the help of members, the British Medical Association (BMA), and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Principles are designed to provide confidence and information about GPs who adopt software that allows them to electronically request medical information to underwrite insurance policies.

These Principles outline the benefits of electronic requests. They include making it easier for GPs, insurers, and others to comply with their data privacy obligations. They also ensure that the correct medical information is provided by GPs to insurance companies for underwriting and to allow insurers to provide insurance coverage as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Statement of best practice for sales of private medical insurance, both individual and group.

This Statement of Best Practice is applicable to ABI members who sell private medical insurance (PMI), to UK residents. It covers private treatment in the UK.

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The Statement includes individual and group PMI plans. Insurers must use the same definitions for specific terms and use standard examples to explain the coverage and provide information about the limitations.


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