Demand for private health cover surge amid NHS waiting list crisis

Challenges in accessing the NHS waiting list are pushing more and more people toward private-funded alternatives for access, diagnosis and treatment,
thereby increasing the demand for private health cover.

According to a report published by health data provider LaingBuisson, the demand for private health cover, including medical and dental insurance and cash plans,
has surged to its highest levels since 2008.

The UK’s overall health cover market reached £6.7 billion in 2022, an increase of £385 million from the previous year.

During the period from 2020 to 2022, the market experienced annual growth rate of 6.1 per cent, a significant increase compared to the average annual growth rate
of 1.7 per cent observed between 2008 and 2019, the research found.

A total of 4.2 million people were subscribed to medical cover schemes in 2022. When dependents covered by these policies were included, the number reached
7.3 million – the highest count since 2008.

LaingBuisson’s analysis showed that medical cover volumes were steady through most of the 2010s, but began to increase alongside rises in the NHS waiting list
from 2018.