Tuesday 22 October 2019

Thousands to be hit with new health insurance hike

VHI imposed average rises of 2pc, with some up by 5pc, from the start of this month
VHI imposed average rises of 2pc, with some up by 5pc, from the start of this month
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Thousands of families are to be hit with a new rise in health insurance premiums.

GloHealth, which has 120,000 customers, is to push up its prices by an average of 8pc from next month, the Irish Independent has learned.

The cost of one of the company's plans is to increase by almost 15pc.

The Net More 100 plan will be €130 more expensive per adult from next month. A family of two adults and two children will face an additional cost of €340 if they renew on this plan.

The insurer is to push up the price of 19 of its 36 hospital plans with effect from December 1.

It blamed the rising costs of providing medical care for its customers and a higher-than-expected increase in the number of claims.

A spokeswoman for Glo said: "The higher claims costs are predominantly driven by public hospitals now charging private fees for public beds, trolleys and chairs." However, the insurer is to introduce 12 new plans that it said would be competitively priced.

It insisted it was committed to offering its customers the best value in the market and said many of its key plans were cheaper than their rivals.

Health insurance specialist Dermot Goode said the GloHealth price rises were higher than those imposed by rivals VHI, Laya and Aviva recently.

But many of the plans being increased by GloHealth have not had a price rise since they were launched 18 months ago, he added.

Most Laya Healthcare plans went up by 4pc from the start of September, with some rising by up to 11pc.

VHI imposed average rises of 2pc, with some up by 5pc, from the start of this month.

The move will see some families having to pay more than €100 extra if they renew or take out a plan from November.

This is despite VHI consistently saying this year that it had no plans to replicate the price rises announced by its rivals.

Aviva increased its rates by 5.5pc on average for those renewing or taking out a new plan from the start of this month.

Mr Goode, of TotalHealthCover.ie, said there was no increase in the cost of company plans - better-value plans that are marketed to companies but are available to anyone who asks for one.

But Mr Goode said that the average GloHealth rise of 8pc was above the market norm at the moment.

"An average increase of 8pc is above what we have seen this year from the other health insurers," he added.

Irish Independent

Also in Business