United Kingdom Health and Medical Insurance Market - Growth, Trends and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

The market is segmented by Product Type (Private Medical Insurance, Healthcare Cash Plans, Dental Insurance Plans), by Term of Coverage (Short-term, Long-term), by Procurement Type (Self-pay Health Coverage, Employee-sponsored Health Coverage) - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019-2024)

Market Snapshot

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Market Overview

The health and medical insurance market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of 3.2%, during the forecast period (2019-2024).Health cover has become the highest public priority. Healthcare is most frequently cited, by voters, as the most important aspect of government spending. The NHS has, thus, become a protected department, with the awareness of all political parties about NHS spending on the overall health coverage. According to the data published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 1.7 million people in the United Kingdom had private medical insurance (PMI).

  • Drivers:
    • NHS crisis, due to uncertainty around Brexit issue, led to a rise in the private health insurance sales driving up the future demand
    • Rising disposable income and increased awareness in health coverage possibilities
    • Patients possess greater expectations of quality healthcare
    • Increasingly knowledgeable patients may want the best treatment, even if very expensive
  • Restraints:
    • UK’s PHI market remains difficult, with strong competitor activity and pressures on customer affordability
    • Prices of premiums have been increasing at rates significantly higher than general inflation for many years, which is dampening the demand

Scope of the Report

A complete background analysis of the UK health insurance industry, including an assessment of the national health accounts, economy, and emerging market trends by segments, significant changes in market dynamics, and market overview, is covered in the report.

Private Medical Insurance (PMI)
Individual Policy Coverage
Group Policy Coverage
Healthcare Cash Plans
Individual Policy Coverage
Group Policy Coverage
Dental Insurance Plans
NHS-backed Capitation Plan
Private Capitation Plan
Self-pay Health Coverage
Employee Sponsored Health Coverage

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Key Market Trends

PMI Gaining Huge Market amid the Uncertainties Surrounding Brexit

Private Medical Insurance – medical cover subscribers have grown by more than 2%, following a flat demand in the period of 2012-2014. Total spending on the UK private medical cover, which includes insured and self-insured healthcare trusts, grew by 2.8% in 2015. Premium income generated from the sales of insured policies grew by 2.1%, leading to a rise in insurance gross margins to 26.7%, in comparison to 25.9% in 2014. In the future years, the rising taxes and Brexit may pose a tough time for private insurance providers.

Significant developments in premiums belie the underlying trends in demand. Factors driving the apparent shift in attitudes include improved levels of satisfaction with NHS, increased public healthcare spending, and deterioration in labor market conditions. The consumer shift away from private medical insurance is unlikely to be fully reversed. 

A recent economic recovery may improve wage and employment conditions wherein NHS reforms are expected to push for the role of the private healthcare and insurance sector, while UK's evolving demographic profile may increase the strain on the public healthcare system.

The current volatile economic scenario does not prescribe continued growth in the category. However, the demand for lower-cost policy coverage has propelled growth in the popularity and availability of cheaper healthcare cash plans, and self-pay options for one-off treatments.

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Spotlight on the Employee Sponsored Health Coverage in the United Kingdom

NHS has always ensured that the United Kingdom maintains an extensive social security system. The UK economy has a problem due to its present political crisis. However, it possesses a robust economic growth, with low inflation and lower unemployment rates as huge plus. Employers consider health and wellness as a prime objective in providing health benefits to their employees. In the United Kingdom, up to 45% of the employers aim to include health and well-being of employees in their company goals, within three years of the formation of the company. With rising income producing employers and growth in the awareness of the extensive health coverage offered, this segment is expected to exhibit prominent growth during the forecast period.

UK employees receive fundamental health and retirement coverage via government programs, and gain wide access to a well-established financial services industry, which offers consumers a broad set of choices in private health care, insurance, and investment products. Due to the availability of these resources, workers in the United Kingdom express far less concern than US employees, regarding financial issues ranging from having enough money to live on (44% of UK employees, as compared to 59% in the US), to being able to afford relevant health insurance for self and one’s family (28% in the United Kingdom and 57% in the United States).

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Competitive Landscape

In spite of being a concentrated market, lack of competition among private hospitals has constrained insurers the bargaining power, thereby, resulting in inflated claims costs. Coupled with the reduction in customer numbers, this has been the biggest driver for premium growth, as insurers responded to the burden on profitability by raising prices for customers.

The consumer shift away from private medical insurance is unlikely to be fully reversed. Favorable forces may support a modest CAGR of 2% for gross written premiums, over the forecast period (2013–2017).

A recent recovery in economic growth may improve wage and employment conditions in the United Kingdom. Also, NHS reforms are expected to advance the role of private healthcare in the insurance sector. On the other hand, UK’s evolving demographic profile may increase the strain on the public healthcare system.

Bupa continues be the market leader in the UK health and medical insurance market, holding more than 50% of the market share. Its annual revenue from the health insurance business segment accounted for more than 80%, in 2017.

The market concentration is ‘high’, as it is dominated by four companies, namely, BUPA, Axa PPP, Aviva, and Prudential, which contributed a cumulative market share of greater than 90%, in 2016.

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Table Of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Key Deliverables of the Study

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Brief on Health Insurance Industry Regulation in the United Kingdom - Role of NHS UK in the Healthcare Delivery

    2. 4.2 Insights on Latest Healthcare Policy Changes and their Effect on the Overall Health Spending in the United Kingdom

    3. 4.3 Effect of Brexit on Health Insurance Coverage in the United Kingdom


    1. 5.1 Brief on Health Insurance Premiums and Study on the Effect of Medical Trend Rate on Health Plans

    2. 5.2 Insights on UK Social Health Insurance (SHI) and its Impact on the Overall Health Coverage of UK Citizens and the Preference for Private Medical Insurance (PHI) over SHI

    3. 5.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

    4. 5.4 Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis


    1. 6.1 BY PRODUCT TYPE

      1. 6.1.1 Private Medical Insurance (PMI)

        1. Individual Policy Coverage

        2. Group Policy Coverage

      2. 6.1.2 Healthcare Cash Plans

        1. Individual Policy Coverage

        2. Group Policy Coverage

      3. 6.1.3 Dental Insurance Plans

        1. NHS-backed Capitation Plan

        2. Private Capitation Plan

    2. 6.2 BY TERM

      1. 6.2.1 Short-term

      2. 6.2.2 Long-term


      1. 6.3.1 Self-pay Health Coverage

      2. 6.3.2 Employee Sponsored Health Coverage


    1. 7.1 Overview (Market Concentration and Major Players)

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 BUPA

      2. 7.2.2 AXA PPP

      3. 7.2.3 PT Astra Aviva Life

      4. 7.2.4 Prudential

      5. 7.2.5 Cigna Life Insurance Company of Europe SA-NV

      6. 7.2.6 Simplyhealth Group Ltd

      7. 7.2.7 WPA - Western Provident Association

      8. 7.2.8 Vitality Health

  8. *List Not Exhaustive

  10. 9. APPENDIX

    1. 9.1 United Kingdom Public Health Insurance Statistics - SHI

    2. 9.2 Trend analysis of Per Capita Health Expenditure in United Kingdom

    3. 9.3 Statistics on Age-wise Health Insurance Coverage


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