Thursday 8 December 2016

Health insurance customers missing out

Published 30/11/2015 | 02:30

Some four out of 10 consumers have not switched health insurance provider over the last five year
Some four out of 10 consumers have not switched health insurance provider over the last five year

Thousands of people are losing out heavily because they have never switched from one health insurer to another, a new survey shows.

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A lack of understanding of how the health insurance market works is cited as the main reason for the reluctance of consumers to check for better value, a survey by GloHealth shows.

Some four out of 10 consumers have not switched provider over the last five years.

This is despite the fact that annual savings of between €200 and €400 per adult can be made, health insurance experts said.

Independent broker Dermot Goode of totalhealthcover.ie said we were coming into the busiest period of the year for renewals with 400,000 people due to renew their policies between now and the end of January.

He said only a fifth to a quarter of people ever switched provider.

"There is too much misguided loyalty in the health insurance market," Mr Goode said. "People who stay with the same provider and don't review their cover are throwing thousands of euro away, particularly families ... people need to appreciate that there is no reward for loyalty."

Mr Goode added there was no loss of cover in moving to a plan from another provider that gave roughly the same benefits.

The survey found that 43pc of people wrongly believe that changing provider would lead to a break in cover. Other reported barriers to switching include the mistaken fear by consumers that they would be subject to extra costs and waiting periods.

Irish Independent

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