Number covered by private health insurance falling again

Health cover figures drop by 21,000 in first quarter of the year


The number of people covered by private health insurance has begun to fall again, new official figures show.

At the end of March there were 2.031 million people with private health insurance – a fall of 21,000 in the period since December 2013 and down 47,000 on the same period last year.

Figures produced by the industry regulator, the Health Insurance Authority, had shown that in the final quarter of 2013 there had been a surprise increase in the numbers covered by private health insurance, up from 2.048 million to 2.052 million.

The new report says that, at present, a total of 44.2 per cent of the population are covered by in-patient private health insurance policies, down from the figure of 50.9 per cent – almost 2.3 million people – at the peak of the market at the end of 2008.