Health Cover


The latest update of LaingBuisson’s comprehensive study into the health cover product market. Fourteenth edition. Published 19 October 2017. (182pp)


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Report Contents and Figures


“Private medical cover is highly valued by employees, and employers are increasingly committed to workplace benefits and services which support employee health and wellbeing, and quick access to healthcare services, which private cover offers, is the vital cornerstone.
Philip Blackburn – Report author


Private medical cover static in the face of political and economic uncertainty

The UK private medical cover market is estimated to be worth £4.83 billion with 4.02 million policies covering 6.9 million lives in 2016, meaning that the market flatlined compared with 2015.

Back in 2015 the market grew well as two large corporates extended medical cover to their entire populations. This was not repeated in 2016 though there was marginal growth of 0.6% in corporate market policies. Meanwhile individual paid policyholders declined by over 2%, a similar fall to the previous three years. This is set against buoyant demand for private healthcare from self-payers, which is currently growing at around 10% per year.
Two leading reasons for the market’s flat picture have been highlighted.

First, there is greater political and economic uncertainty in the light of Brexit, and it is yet unknown whether this will change corporate Britain a little or a lot.

In the meantime, it seems unlikely that there will be the kind of growth witnessed in the corporate market in 2015 until companies are more confident about the climate in which they will be operating post-Brexit.

Secondly, the market is affected by the sharp increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). The additional costs this has imposed ensure new sales and retention are more challenging, and the full impact of this tax rise may take some time to filter through fully to price sensitive customers.


What the report covers

  • Market structures of:
    – Private medical cover
    – Private medical insurance
    – Health cash plans
    – Dental benefit plans
    – Private primary medical (GP) cover
  • Market demand volumes
  • Market income and values
  • Historic trends
  • Future outlooks
  • Prices
  • Claims paid and margins
  • Health cover product innovation
  • Distribution
  • DefinitionsFinancial Appendix

What You Get

      • Print package – Single-user Printed Hard Copy
      • Digital package – Multi-user Digital PDF and Microsoft Excel files + Printed Hard Copy

Additional information

Report Format

Multi-user Digital PDF + Printed Hard Copy, Single-user Printed Hard Copy