Monday 20 November 2017

Families face €250 rise as health insurance costs hiked again

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

People with health insurance are to be hit with a new price rise, just months after a previous increase.

Irish Life Health is to raise its prices by an average of 3.2pc from next month. But some plans will go up by double this amount.

The price increases apply to the majority of Irish Life Health plans from June 12.

The insurer, which took over Glo and Aviva Health, last pushed up prices on its health plans in January.

Broker Dermot Goode, of TotalHealthCover.ie, said the costs for a family of two adults and two children could increase by between €100 and €250, depending on the plan held.

He said some Irish Life discounted child cover offers are coming to an end from June as well, which means some plans could increase by a higher percentage than 3pc to 6pc.

Both Laya and VHI have already increased their rates twice in the last six months.

"The 'creeping effect' of health insurance price hikes continues unabated and we can expect more of the same, with the next increase likely in the fourth quarter of this year," Mr Goode said.

Legislation

Irish Life managing director Jim Dowdall blamed the rises on charges being imposed on insurers by public hospitals when those with insurance are treated, whether or not they are given private facilities or get a choice of consultant.

He said this change in the public bed legislation was costing insurers €200m a year.

Mr Dowdall said his company was being impacted by the increases imposed by the State in the health insurance levy.

It went up in April from €403 to €444 per adult on advanced plans. The levy is to ensure that all those in the same plan pay the same, irrespective of their age or the state of their health.

Mr Dowdall said he is frustrated and disappointed that health insurance customers continue to be penalised by rising claims costs because, he claimed, "no action has been taken to change the inequitable public hospital bed legislation".

Irish Independent

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