Private health cover costs too much, says Bupa

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The Independent Online

Private health insurance is becoming so expensive in the UK that people can no longer afford it, the chief executive of Bupa warned yesterday.

Stuart Fletcher said sky-high costs were meaning the whole market was "approaching an affordability crunch".

"For the last decade, health inflation has been running at three times the level of the retail prices index," he said. "That has had to be reflected in premiums and people cannot afford to pay premiums that have risen by more than three times their wages. So they have been forced to choose between dropping health insurance altogether or opting for less cover."

Bupa's UK customer base fell by 5 per cent to 2.5 million in the six months to June. European and north American profit fell by 22 per cent to £35m. Revenues fell 2 per cent at £1.44bn.