Private medical insurance is at its most affordable in years - yet Brits are spending a staggering £29bn each year on out of pocket health expenses, according to latest figures.

New research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)* found that, on average, £2,920 per person was spent in the UK in 2016 on healthcare, including NHS, health insurance and out of pocket expenses. Of the total, 15% was on out of pocket expenditure - the equivalent of £438 per person on healthcare goods and services. Private medical insurance (PMI) would pay for most of the out of pocket expenses incurred by an average UK average family - yet it makes up just 3.3% of health expenditure.

Yet according to ActiveQuote PMI team leader Mark Todd, the days of health insurance being the preserve of the rich are gone. Mark said: “There are so many insurance and mutual societies now offering PMI, yet many people still believe that private medical insurance is expensive and out of their reach.

“In fact, the opposite is true. PMI is at the most competitive it has been in years and cover is available for all budgets. A family of four can get private medical insurance for as little as £38.74 a month**. That works out at £464.88 a year - just above the average expenditure on out of pocket expenses per person - and that’s for four people.

“The fact that only three percent of the UK spend is on private medical insurance shows that, as an industry, we really have to work hard to re-educate the British public that PMI is available and relatively affordable.”

Customers now have access to a far wider range of health insurance options than previously, with a greater number of PMI providers on our panel. And if you think that one policy fits all, think again! At ActiveQuote, we pride ourselves on finding our customers a policy to suit their own circumstances and lifestyle, whether it’s an individual policy, family health insurance or international PMI cover that they need.

ActiveQuote was the first comparison service to compare health insurance policies in the UK and allows customers to tailor-make their policies by adding or removing options such as hospital cover and physiotherapy. Mark added: “We work with customers every day to find a policy and a price that suits them and their families, so they don’t have to scrimp and save for those unexpected health bills.”

* ONS UK Health Accounts report

** Based on an ActiveQuote quote on April 25 2018 for a family of four living in south Wales.