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Thursday 23 November 2017

Thousands of families hit with health insurance increase

Donal Clancy
Donal Clancy

Personal Finance Editor

THOUSANDS of families with health insurance from Laya are facing price rises.

The insurer, which has 500,000 customers, is pushing up the cost of premiums on 77 plans by between €150 and €300 from the start of March.

It is also cutting the prices of some plans, and offering free cover for second and subsequent children on seven schemes.

The insurer is the first this year to announce a hike in the cost of premiums, with experts now expecting others to follow.

Around a million consumers are due to renew their health insurance in the three months up to the end of March.

Laya’s premiums will rise in cost by an average of 3.3pc, but some plans will be 12.7pc more expensive from March 1.

Chief executive Donal Clancy blamed a rise in the number and cost of claims for medical procedures.

Health insurance broker Dermot Goode said families with two adults and two children will face rises of up to €325 in the cost of cover when they renew from March on.

He said a large number of the 77 plans going up in price will see increases of 6pc.

The move comes just months after Laya froze prices on a number of plans, and cut the cost of others.

Managing director of Laya Dónal Clancy said: “The price review has been driven largely by the steady and double digit increase in volume and cost of claims.

“In 2015, we saw a 17pc increase in the volume of claims and an almost 20pc increase in the cost of paying these claims, which corresponds with our growth in our membership to more than half a million members last year.”

He said he was conscious of the impact this adjustment will have on some of our members and Laya has tried to minimise the increase on schemes.

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