Figures released today by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that last year the number of people with private insurance rose above 6 million for the first time since 2002.
The number of people with insurance rose by more than 2% from the 5.87 million figure recorded in 2006. But most of the jump is accounted for by a 3.7% increase in the number of people covered by corporate policies.
The number with personal policies actually fell by 1.7%, to 1.7 million.
Nick Starling, the ABI's director of health, said the figures were good news.
‘Health insurance gives people access to the treatment they need, when they need it, and reduces pressure on the NHS,' he said.