The number of people with private health insurance climbed by 22,000 over the past 12 months, according to the Health Insurance Authority (HIA).
There were 2,174,000 people insured with inpatient health insurance plans at the end of December 2017. This represents an increase in the number of insured people of 22,000 over the past 12 months. The market peaked at almost 2.3 million at the end of 2008.
In addition to those insured with inpatient plans, there were 104,000 insured with products solely providing outpatient benefits or health insurance cash plans.
Based on population estimates, the percentage of the population with inpatient health insurance plans stands at 45.1 per cent at the end of December 2017 compared to the 2008 peak of 50.9 per cent.
HIA research shows that consumer satisfaction with the level and clarity of information given by insurance companies increased from 85 per cent to 89 per cent.
Elements of private health insurance where policy holders are happiest concern the quality of information/advice received; customer service; and the range of products offered. Satisfaction on all metrics has consistently trended upwards since 2013.
Switching levels have slowed down with numbers reduced to 22 per cent from 24 per cent with nearly two thirds of those who have switched having only done so once.