The health care cash plan market increased by more than 10% in 1999 after major take-up by companies, finds the British Health Care Association (BHCA).

The market was estimated to be worth about £225m last September by the trade body for health cash plan providers.

BHCA president, Ken Briers said: "Companies are becoming increasingly aware of how adequate provision of healthcare for their employees affects the profitability of their business, and despite the additional funding, NHS healthcare provision is not going to improve overnight.

"We see no sign of sales of health care cash and associated plans slowing down."