Just one in every six people here are likely to switch health insurer provider at their next renewal, a new survey has found.

But their reasons for staying with their current provider tend to be positive, the study discovered, rather than being driven by fear of moving company.

The research, carried out by Kantar Millward Brown on behalf of the Health Insurance Authority, found among the reasons that policy holders were sticking with existing providers are happiness with their current policy, a feeling of value for money and a sense of loyalty.

Just 14% said fears over a lack of cover were a barrier to switching and 8% said they had general concerns about moving to a new insurer.

"Even though the research highlights that consumers have a preference to remaining with their current insurance provider, we would strongly recommend that consumers actively review their health insurance during their policy renewal period to ensure that they are currently appropriately insured," said Don Gallagher, Health Insurance Authority CEO.

Currently around 2.2 million or 44% of people here have private health insurance plans. Coverage is higher among those above the age of 35.

More than half of policy holders pay for their own insurance, with just 6% covered by employer schemes.

The survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,032 adults also found that 31% of those questioned are likely to consider switching plans with their incumbent. 

The willingness to switch or consider switching was higher among the one in seven who have changed provider previously.

The Health Insurance Authority has a Comparison Tool on its website to allow consumers review and choose the most suitable plan for them.