Business Personal Finance

Saturday 20 October 2018

Most of us pay too much for health cover by not switching

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Most people who have health insurance are overpaying because of their failure to switch provider to get a better deal, insurance experts said.

Figures from the regulator, the Health Insurance Authority (HIA), show fewer than one in four health insurance customers have ever switched.

Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie said this meant most people were losing out.

The HIA said the market continues to recover, with an extra 31,000 people taking out cover in the past year.

But Mr Goode said the HIA data showing just one in four switches means many are over-paying.

The figures do not indicate how many people change plans, but stay with the same insurer.

But Mr Goode said that would mean the overall number moving plans was much higher, but indications are that too many older people in particular are afraid to move.

VHI, Laya and Irish Life have cut the cost of a number of their premiums. Mr Goode said it was important to seek out better value when it was time to renew.

He said the vast majority of those over-paying were aged over 60 and paying between 30pc-50pc more than other age groups.

Older people were more likely to be unaware of the availability of better-value corporate plans.

Irish Independent

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