FAMILIES that are reluctant to switch health insurance provider from the VHI can still make massive savings on their premiums, it emerged yesterday.
The state-owned company is planning to hike its premiums on Plans B and B Options by between 35pc and 45pc from the start of next month.
Other plans are going up by 15pc. The advice came as it emerged that many people with private medical insurance were reluctant to switch from the VHI.
Despite the sharp rises, some people do not want to move to another provider even though the law states that consumers cannot be penalised if they switch provider and take up a plan with similar benefits.
Health insurance broker Dermot Goode, of www.healthinsurancesavings.ie, said families with Plan B or Plan B Options could largely avoid the impact of the largest increases by opting for the likes of VHI's Parents & Kids and Family Plus plans.
"Lots of people do not want to leave the VHI or are nervous about switching.
"If they are nervous about switching or want to stay with the VHI they can still achieve good savings within the VHI plan range," Mr Goode said.
The Parents & Kids and Family Plus plans are going up by 15pc, compared with 45pc for Plan B Options.
Families on Family Plan Plus will see the price increase from €2,302 to €2,647, a rise of €345.
Families on the Parents & Kids plan will see the price increase from €2,208 to €2,540, a rise of €332.
The price increases kick in from the next renewal date and not immediately. The VHI said yesterday most families were now covered on these plans.
Mr Goode said many people were uncertain as to their exact level of cover due to the multitude of plans on the market.
He advised people to get out their medical insurance documents and check to see what plan they were on and see if they could save money.
The VHI said that large numbers of people thought they were on Plan B when it fact they were on the Parents & Kids plan aimed at families.