How The Pandemic Has Changed Private Health Perceptions Forever

The Covid-19 pandemic has noticeably changed our attitudes towards healthcare, especially how we view the amazing work of the NHS and the growing demand for private health in the UK. As a result, private medical insurance will be at the forefront of many people’s minds as this year continues to unfold.

As 2021 progresses, it’s widely accepted that how we all view our health and wellbeing has changed forever. While the Covid-19 pandemic has obviously raised serious physical health concerns, the impact on our mental health has also been significant.

Months of working from home or being furloughed, with little social stimulation, will have taken its toll. As we prepare to return back to work and our “normal” everyday lives, health and wellbeing will remain right at the top of our agendas.

This reality is highlighted by the fact that one in five Brits wants to make smarter decisions when it comes to their personal health in 2021

[Related reading: Private Healthcare: Essential Cover & Peace Of Mind]

Meanwhile, the pandemic has also revealed gaps in our beloved NHS, highlighting how a serious and widespread healthcare incident can have significant knock-on effects.

We’ve seen more individuals choosing to take advantage of private healthcare as NHS waiting lists continue to grow. The sad reality is that people’s experiences during the coronavirus pandemic will stick with them well into the future. And that’s likely to shape what they need and want from any private medical insurance going forward.

A more holistic approach to healthcare

What we are likely to see is individuals looking to secure health protection that encompasses the entire health ‘ecosystem'. So protection that not only addresses the physical and mental aspects of health, but also the various factors that contribute to overall personal wellbeing.

The good news is insurers are taking note and stepping up with new offerings that provide more cover than the usual traditional aspects. A great example is Cigna Europe’s Whole Health proposition.

[Related reading: The Benefits Of Private Medical Insurance In 2021]

Speaking to Cover magazine about the Whole Health offering, Arjan Toor, chief executive of Cigna Europe, said: “Whole Health is really all about taking this to the next level. It's not just about understanding the connectivity between physical and mental health, but also starting to focus on the root causes”.

While a holistic approach to health and wellbeing itself isn’t groundbreaking, the link between physical and mental health has received a lot more attention as a result of the pandemic; this isn’t going to change.

The way physical health affects mental health and vice-versa is well documented. As the Mental Health Foundation points out, while a clear distinction is often made between 'mind' and 'body', when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate.


Once the Covid-19 pandemic is over (and it will be over), gaining access to private health in the UK will be something that many people want. By choosing the right private medical insurance, one which encompasses every aspect of health and wellbeing, you will not only afford peace of mind, but also fantastic healthcare should you need it.

Author: Claire Ginnelly - Managing Director