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The Private Health Insurance Market in Europe
Future trends, emerging opportunities and key players

  • Publication Date:April 2010
  • Publisher:Business Insights
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:108

The Private Health Insurance Market in Europe Future trends, emerging opportunities and key players

The dynamics of healthcare funding in Europe is changing. As governments review their options to meet growing healthcare demands with limited resources, the potential to combine cost reduction with new funding sources will gain support in many countries. Reimbursement decisions in the public sector are becoming increasingly tougher for pharmaceutical and diagnostic manufacturers; the private market offers a potential alternative route to gaining market access.

Private insurers currently play differing roles in European national healthcare systems. This report reviews their role in the major European markets and provides an insight into trends in their coverage of health benefits and products. It highlights selected product areas where private insurance could fill the gaps in public reimbursement . An insight into the European private insurance industry, including overall trends and profiles of leading insurers, provides an indication of future developments within the sector and highlights potential opportunities for pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to work with private insurers.

Key features of this report

  • Reviews healthcare systems and the role of private insurers in the five major European markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
  • Analyzes the healthcare systems in the Netherlands and Switzerland, where mandatory health insurance is purchased from private insurers operating in regulated competitive models. These have parallels with the State of Massachusetts' system, which has been considered a blueprint for other US states and for federal reform.
  • Examines some of the issues in gaining market access for pharmaceuticals and diagnostics through coverage by private health insurers and highlights initiatives being undertaken by insurers that present potential partnership opportunities for companies.
  • Details trends in the private health insurance market, including relative market shares for the main markets in terms of benefits paid for by private insurers.

Scope of this report

  • Understand the diverse roles played by private insurance in funding pharmaceutical and diagnostic products in major European markets and the relative importance of private funds in healthcare spending.
  • Identify the key players in each market who will be potential targets for gaining market access in the privately-funded sector.
  • Review what new opportunities might be afforded in the private sector for products that are denied reimbursement in the public sector.
  • Tailor product portfolios to meet differing needs of individual markets.

Key Market Issues

  • The function of private health insurance depends on coverage provided by national public healthcare systems. Understanding which type of private health insurance - substitutive/primary, complementary/supplementary or duplicative/competitive - is dominant in each market is key to assessing market potential.
  • Gaining reimbursement for medical diagnostic products and treatments in the public sector is becoming increasingly challenging in many countries as the cost and medical necessity of certain products are coming under closer scrutiny by public payors. Some private insurers are showing interest in covering medicines for minor ailments and lifestyle products that are excluded from public reimbursement.
  • Managing costs is a challenge for private insurers in the current economic climate as medical inflation and price competition in the industry create additional pressures. Insurers are adapting their portfolios to address market needs, with a focus on disease prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Key findings from this report

  • There are over 84 million Europeans with some form of private health insurance. Germans account for the largest proportion of the privately insured population, with 22.3 million, followed by the Dutch with 16.2 million.
  • Healthcare benefits paid by private insurers account for 8% of total European healthcare expenditure, a share that is on course to increase as public payors redefine their benefits package.
  • The cost of medicines accounts for a significant proportion of private insurers' costs in most markets. Around 93% of the French population has complementary health insurance to cover costs not reimbursed by the social health insurance system, with 30% of insurers' costs going towards the cost of medicines.
  • Private insurers provide comprehensive health cover to 10.5% of Germans and almost all the population of the Netherlands and Switzerland. Voluntary insurance also plays a significant role in these markets to complement and supplement the statutory benefit package.
  • France has the highest density of private health insurers at 893, whereas the industry is concentrated among relatively few players in most other markets - there are 46 insurers in Germany, 30 in the Netherlands and 27 in the UK.

Key questions answered

  • How many Europeans have private health insurance and why do they purchase private cover?
  • What proportion of healthcare costs are paid for by private insurers in the major European markets?
  • How influenced are private insurers by public health pharmaceutical reimbursement decisions?
  • Who are the major movers and shakers in the European private health insurance market?
  • What initiatives are underway by insurers to cover pharmaceutical products not reimbursed by national healthcare systems?
  • What role do private insurers play in public-private partnerships?
  • The Private Health Insurance Market in Europe
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction to private health insurance in Europe
  • The role of private health insurance in key EU markets
  • Focus on the Dutch and Swiss healthcare systems
  • Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics in the private healthcare sector
  • European private health insurance landscape
  • Future trends
  • Chapter 1 Introduction to private health insurance in Europe
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • Healthcare systems in Europe
    • Role of private health insurance
    • European population with private insurance
    • Contribution of private insurers to healthcare funding
  • Chapter 2 The role of private health insurance in key EU markets
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • France
    • Sources of healthcare funding
    • The private health insurance sector
    • Rx and Dx coverage
    • Private healthcare providers
    • Germany
    • Sources of healthcare funding
    • The private health insurance sector
    • Private health insurance benefits
    • Private healthcare providers
    • Italy
    • Sources of healthcare funding
    • Private healthcare spending
    • The private health insurance sector
    • Private healthcare providers
    • Spain
    • Sources of healthcare funding
    • Private health insurance sector
    • Private healthcare providers
    • UK
    • Sources of healthcare funding
    • Private health insurance sector
    • Private health providers
  • Chapter 3 Focus on the Dutch and Swiss healthcare systems
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • The Dutch healthcare system
    • Healthcare financing
    • Dutch health insurance coverage
    • Basic drug coverage
    • Complementary insurance
    • Health insurance industry
    • Health providers
    • The Swiss healthcare system
    • Healthcare financing
    • Health insurance premiums
    • Health insurance industry
    • Health providers
    • Parallels with Massachusetts
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4 Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics in the private healthcare sector
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • Coverage decisions by private insurers
    • Case study: Bupa (UK)
    • Lifestyle and OTC medicines
    • Case study: Allianz France
    • Diagnostic tests
    • Disease management initiatives
    • Case study: Health Dialog España
  • Chapter 5 The European private health insurance sector landscape
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • Overview of private health insurance industry
    • Industry structure
    • Market shares
    • Vertical integration
    • Public-private partnerships
    • Hospital de Manises
    • Profiles of leading health insurers
    • Achmea
    • Bupa
    • DKV
    • Groupama
    • Sanitas
  • Chapter 6 Future trends in the European private healthcare sector
    • Summary
    • Introduction
    • Market dynamics
    • Industry consolidation
    • Coverage of medical products
    • Cost controls
    • Disease management
    • Purchasing policies
    • Risk-sharing agreements
    • Conclusions
  • Appendix
  • Research methodology
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • List of Figures
    • Figure 1.1: Contribution of private funding (%) to total health expenditure in key markets
    • Figure 1.2: Role of private health insurance in key markets
    • Figure 1.3: Market share of benefits paid by private insurers in Europe
    • Figure 2.4: Breakdown of private health insurance expenditure in France
    • Figure 2.5: Breakdown of private healthcare expenditure by insurers in Germany
    • Figure 2.6: Public and private healthcare expenditure (€bn) in Italy
    • Figure 2.7: Breakdown of private healthcare spending in Italy
    • Figure 2.8: Sources of healthcare funding in Spain
    • Figure 2.9: UK sources of healthcare funding (£bn)
    • Figure 3.10: Dutch population (%) with complementary private health insurance
    • Figure 3.11: Index of health insurance premiums in Switzerland
    • Figure 3.12: Types of health plan by franchise (%) in Switzerland
    • Figure 4.13: Pharmaceutical and IVD sales (€bn) in top EU markets
    • Figure 5.14: Market share (%) of health insurance premiums in Europe
    • Figure 5.15: Bupa's revenues (%) by business sector
  • List of Tables
    • Table 1.1: Summary of PHI role in key European markets
    • Table 1.2: Population covered by PHI in 10 European countries
    • Table 1.3: Benefits paid by PHI as % of total healthcare expenditure
    • Table 2.4: Sources of healthcare funding (%) in France
    • Table 2.5: Contribution to main healthcare expenditures (%) in France by source
    • Table 2.6: Profile of private health insurance industry in France
    • Table 2.7: Sources of healthcare funding (%) in Germany
    • Table 2.8: Profile of private health insurance industry in Germany
    • Table 2.9: Types of supplementary PHI purchased by Germans covered by GKV
    • Table 2.10: Profile of population with private health insurance in Germany
    • Table 2.11: Sources of healthcare funding (€bn) in Italy
    • Table 2.12: Public and private spending (€bn) on pharmaceuticals in Italy
    • Table 3.13: Sources of healthcare funding (€m) in the Netherlands
    • Table 3.14: Market shares of health insurers in the Netherlands
    • Table 3.15: Sources of healthcare funding in Switzerland (CHFm)
    • Table 5.16: Profile of European private health insurance industry
    • Table 5.17: Eureko health results (€m), 2009
    • Table 5.18: Achmea monthly premiums (€) for supplementary health insurance
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