Families paying double what they need to for young adult health cover
Many unaware discounts could save them almost €800
Parents are shelling out up to double what they need to spend on health insurance cover for children who are students and young adults.
Health insurance regulations allow insurers to offer reduced rates for young adults between the ages of 18 and 21.
This applies whether or not they are in college or in full-time education.
But insurance companies do not have to include these discounts on all plans, and many families are unaware of the benefits they could get by switching.
This means that many families are paying over the odds for insurance for young adults.
They could save almost €800 by getting a better plan, according to Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie.
"Insurers are not obliged to include this on all plans and as a result many consumers are totally unaware of the savings to be made," he said.
For example, he said a 21-year-old could get a discounted rate of almost 50pc. Discounts for a 23-year-old adult could be up to 30pc.
"Our research shows that most parents are unaware of the savings available with these new young adult prices," Mr Goode said.
"Unfortunately, many are still paying full adult rates, which could be double the premium payable for a young adult."
The insurance expert advised all families to check the charges for their young adult dependants, as some insurers will allow a change of cover mid-term.
"Otherwise, get your cover reviewed well in advance of the next renewal date," he said.
Vhi offers young adult rates on all of its plans, but many students covered by the State-owned insurer are still on dated plans, and are overpaying for health insurance.
A 22-year-old on the Parent and Kids Vhi plan will pay €1,007 for cover.
But if the young adult is insured instead on Vhi's PMI 4316, the cost will be €669.
This works out at a saving of €338.
A 20-year-old on Laya's Essential Scheme will cost €1,414 for the year.
However, if this same student opted for its Simply Connect Plus corporate plan, which Mr Goode says gives far better overall cover, the cost comes down to €647.
This is a saving of €767.
The reason for the price difference is that not all Laya plans offer young adult rates.
When it comes to Irish Life Health, a 20-year-old on the Health Starter scheme will pay €854 for cover.
But transferring to the new 4D Health 1 scheme will mean a reduction in cost to €523, which is a saving of €331.
Mr Goode said that unlike Laya, Irish Life Health offers young adult rates on most of its plans.