The number of people with private health insurance at the end of last year rose by 3% compared to a year earlier.
2.44m customers had health insurance policies at the end of December, representing 47.6% of the population.
Total premium income fell slightly over the year and now stands at €2.93bn, as a result of price reductions by two insurers and refunds to customers.
Total level of claims paid out reached €2.5bn, up 16.5% and exceeding claims paid pre-pandemic in 2019 for the first time.
The HIA said demand for health services continued to rebound from the pandemic, with out -patient hospital attendances outstripping in-house hospital stays.
VHI continued to hold the largest share of the market, with 48.4%.
Laya Healthcare had a 27% market share and Irish Life Health had 20.5%.
But according to the Health Insurance Authority’s (HIA) annual report, published today, market shares vary significantly by the ages of the insured.
For example, Vhi Healthcare insured 54% of those aged 70-79 with insurance, compared to 72% at the end of 2014.
Most claims were for treatment in private hospitals with claims for out-patient/GP/other treatments up year to year, with a 54% increase since 2019.
Claims for public hospitals have modestly increased on 2021, but are still 11% lower than in 2019.
At the start of January, there were 327 active in-patient plans, with five retired and 12 new plans introduced during the year.
The HIA also found from consumer surveys during last year that many consumers still find it difficult to understand their health insurance plans and compare options, particularly with so many plans on the market.
The authority’s website was used to make 199,000 comparisons of health insurance products.
While over 3,000 calls were received by their information helpline.