Spending on health insurance products in the UK, including private medical insurance, health cash plans, dental benefit plans and long term care insurance, reached £4.4 billion in 2005, according to independent analysts Laing and Buisson.
£3.56 billion was spent on private medical expenses cover (private medical insurance and self-insured corporate medical schemes).
£440 million was spent on health cash plans, £316 million on dental benefit plans (private capitation and insurance), and £114 million on long term care products.
Health insurance products now reach one in five of the UK population.
Private medical schemes cover 12.5% of the population, 7.9% have health cash plans, and 3.5% have private dental cover.
Private medical insurance
The total number of people covered by PMI and self-insured medical expenses schemes was 7,534,000 at the start of 2006, 12.5% of the UK population.
Price inflation has remained relatively modest and stable in the last three years, as average premium increases have moderated and more consumers are taking advantage of lower cost cover options.
Health cash plans
Spending on health cash plans continues to rise.It reached £440 million in 2005.
Health cash plans have wide appeal to individuals and families. A key strength of the product is its flexibility to cover new benefits which consumers’ demand.
The continuing difficulty of finding a NHS dentist has helped the value of dental insurance to rise to £316 million.The changes to NHS charges in April has seen more people look at the alternative of dental insurance.