Around 1,000 a week give up their health insurance
AROUND 1,000 people a week are giving up private health insurance, it emerged yesterday.
Figures released by the Health Insurance Authority yesterday revealed that 12,000 people gave up their health insurance between July and the end of September this year.
This follows criticism of the Government for Budget 2012, which introduced a plan to have public hospitals charge more for private beds.
The measure is expected to send the cost of private health insurance soaring by 50pc.
That would mean a family with two adults and two children are facing a hike in annual premiums of €1,400 to almost €4,000.
The Department of Health took the biggest cut in the budget with a reduction of €543m. Since December 2008, 123,000 people have left the private health insurance market.
Yesterday's figures also showed that 2.2 million had in-patient private health insurance plans at the end of September.
The number of people who are covered by health insurance fell to below 50pc in January this year.
The rate of people with insurance has fallen steadily since the beginning of the recession.