The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effectiveness of HCPs in meeting the cost of health care for low income-earners. There are estimated to be between 1 million and 1.5 million policies in effect, with total lives covered estimated to be 27% of those covered under medical schemes, or 2.4 million people. The majority of policyholders are in the LSM 2 4-7 brackets3, and more than 55% of HCP beneficiaries are concentrated between the ages of 20 – 40 years. There are between 30 and 40 insurers providing HCPs, versus 99 medical schemes and between 15 and 20 Gap cover providers. While the benefits of a HCP are not comparable to those of a medical scheme, low-income South Africans would likely have no alternative product which they could access due to affordability constraints.