Going Private

How do people pay for private healthcare?

We asked those who had used private healthcare how they had paid for it. Of those who had used private healthcare 48% paid themselves (self-pay) and 49% used a private insurance plan (PMI).

Of those who used insurance, 56% were insured through a plan provided by their employer (or a family member’s employer) while 36% paid for the plan themselves. The rest (7%) were unsure or indicated other sources of funding.

This most likely reflects lower levels of private medical insurance coverage among younger people and those from lower social groups but might also reflect different preferences – with younger people perhaps more accustomed to the convenience of accessing services as and when they need them, especially if they are disproportionately accessing lower cost options like GP appointments rather than major operations.

Of those who had self-paid for private healthcare, 82% either thought it was definitely or probably worth the money.

“I had one experience where I had a problem with my anterior cruciate ligament, and it was definitely worth the money, because I think I got the best service that you could possibly imagine for myself.”

Middle-aged man, ethnic minority, West London, private healthcare user

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