Going Private (State of Health Series): Why People Pay for Their Health Care

Overview

Private Health insurance is currently at its highest level in Britain since the introduction of the National Health Service. Approximately one in seven of the population has some form of health cover. It is often claimed that the growth in private health insurance is due to the 'underfunding' of the NHS. This important book sheds new light on this controversial issue and examines the reasons why people take out private health insurance when the National Health Service is available. Drawing on empirical evidence ...
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Overview

Private Health insurance is currently at its highest level in Britain since the introduction of the National Health Service. Approximately one in seven of the population has some form of health cover. It is often claimed that the growth in private health insurance is due to the 'underfunding' of the NHS. This important book sheds new light on this controversial issue and examines the reasons why people take out private health insurance when the National Health Service is available. Drawing on empirical evidence from a unique study carried out in the affluent South East of England, the authors address a number of neglected questions such as when and why do subscribers make use of their subscriptions, and what do they think of private health care compared to the care received from the NHS? Using in-depth interviews with those who hold private health policies and those who do not, the authors go on to examine the claim that private health insurance automatically leads to a greater 'choice' of health care. The book concludes with a chapter on the resulting sociological and policy implications particularly in the light of recent NHS reforms. As privatization remains high on the health policy agenda, this book makes a timely contribution to the on-going debate. Written in a clear accessible style, Going Private will appeal to health researchers and policymakers alike.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Sociologists report on a study of why people in Britain take out private health insurance when the National Health Service is available to them. The findings, based on in-depth interviews with people who do and people who don't, challenges some of the conventional answers, such as quality and choice. The implications for policy making are also discussed. CIP shows a different subtitle. Distributed by Taylor & Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780335099818
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Series: State of Health Series
  • Pages: 113

Table of Contents

Series editor's introduction
Preface and acknowledgements
1 Introduction 1
Developments in the private health-care sector since 1948 2
Explanations for the expansion of the private health-care market 5
Introducing the study 18
2 A typical private health insurance subscriber 25
The subscribers 25
The typical subscriber? 28
3 Principle and practice 45
Individual subscribers 45
Company subscribers 48
Non-subscribers 51
Opting out of the NHS? 53
4 The use of private health insurance 60
Patterns of use 60
Lay decision-making and use 61
5 Private health insurance as a consumption good 74
A new social cleavage? 75
Establishing the patient as 'customer' 79
Designation as a consumption good 82
6 Conclusion 89
Sociological implications 94
Policy implications 99
References 103
Index 108
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