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300,000 less take out private medical insurance in 1999 says report

The number of people taking out private medical insurance policies fell by 300,000 last year says market analysts Laing and Buisson.

The 4.5 per cent drop to 6,366,000 from 6,666,000 was concentrated in the individual market according to the report.

An additional 646,000 people benefitted from schemes offered by employers. This brings the total with PMI or non-insured schemes to 7m people, a drop of 2.5 per cent over the year.

The study also reports that despite shrinking volumes, incomes generated from PMI schemes accelerated 6.4 per cent to £2.17m from £2.03m in 1998.

Author of the report, economist Philip Blackburn says: “High individual price increases and the absence of tax concessions have dampened individual demand for PMI in the last three years. Conversely, competitive pricing and increased marketing of corporate PMI packages have driven growth in the volume of company paid demand.”

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