Health insurance cuts to save families €270 a year
Fresh cuts in the cost of health insurance are set to see families save hundreds of euro.
Irish Life Health is reducing the price on a number of plans that will save typical families up to €270 a year.
The decreases are in corporate plans, which are considered the best value. It is the latest in a string of reductions that were initiated by Vhi.
The State-owned insurer cut prices three times in the last year, with both Laya and Irish Life responding with reductions.
The latest cuts are expected to prompt a response from the two other plays, Laya and Vhi.
Irish Life's policy reductions are set to take effect from the start of next month.
The move comes ahead of one of the busiest periods of the year for health insurance renewals. Between next month and January, some 400,000 people are due to renew their health cover, according to Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie.
The popular Health Plan 16.1 will reduce from €1,381 to €1,303 - a saving of €78 per adult.
Be Fit 2 schemes, which covers a private room in private hospitals, will reduce from €1,394 to €1,353 per adult -a saving of €41.
But Mr Goode said the best offer will be on the Health Plan 13 corporate plan, which will reduce from €1,404 per adult and €381 per child to €1,328 per adult and €320 per child.
For a family of two adults and two children under 18, this is a saving of €274.
However, not all prices are coming down.
The child rate on Health Plan 16.1 and Be Fit 2 will be increasing slightly from November 1.
"This means it is recommended that consumers split their cover and consider placing the children on the Health Plan 13 corporate plan to maximise the savings," Mr Goode said.
"All price reductions are welcome however small as they usually prompt a positive reaction from the other health insurers.
"We can expect more discounts and offers to hit the market prior to December."
Mr Goode said all policyholders need to review their cover prior to renewal.
He said people should not be fooled into "auto-renewing" just because the cost of what is probably a dated plan has reduced over the past 12 months.
"If you are paying more than €1,800 per adult for your cover, you need to question whether this is the right plan for you," he warned.
People who are on the same plan for a number of years, or are not on an up-to-date corporate plan, need to review their cover.