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Private health insurance in the European Union

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This report provides an overview and analysis of markets for private health insurance (PHI) in the European Union (EU). Part 1 reviews market role, size, structure and conduct and public policy towards PHI. Part 2 focuses on the impact of EU law on public policy towards PHI. Part 3 examines the policy implications of PHI. It looks at the impact of PHI on health policy objectives within the market and on the wider health system. It also discusses barriers to market development and public debate about the current and future role of PHI. Every country in the European Union allows PHI to operate alongside publicly-financed (statutory) health insurance, but there is enormous diversity in the role PHI plays within the health system and in the size and functioning of different markets for PHI. It is difficult to think of PHI in isolation from statutory health coverage, particularly in the European Union, where PHI is never the only or even the main source of coverage. The dominance of statutory coverage means that markets for PHI are heavily shaped by the rules and arrangements of the publicly-financed part of the health system. It also means that PHI generally plays a modest role, although there are notable exceptions.

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