Saturday 14 December 2019

Thousands with 'wrong plans' paying too much

Dermot Goode
Dermot Goode
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THOUSANDS of people are paying too much for their health insurance and could get better-value policies, an expert said.

And people who are renewing their policies in the coming months were warned to brace themselves for prices hikes, which were announced in February and March of this year.

Price rises announced months ago do not take effect until consumers come to renew their policies.

Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie said thousands of those with health insurance were on dated plans and they will end up being hardest hit by premium hikes.

He said two adults could save up to €1,300 a year by opting for newer plans.

The four insurers - VHI, Laya, Aviva and GloHealth - tend to launch new plans regularly. There are now close to 300 different health plans.

Mr Goode said in his experience up to four out of five people are on the wrong plan. They may be on a good plan, but a better version of it has since come out, or they are on a dated and expensive plan.

Mr Goode said that even those who think they have the best value after switching to a corporate plan could get caught out by higher premiums when they renew.

Corporate plans tend to be cheaper than individual ones, and often have better benefits like money back for GP visits. They are designed to be sold en masse to companies that pay for staff health cover, but under law have to be made available to everyone.

Families could save thousands of euro by switching to a different plan without having to change insurance company, Mr Goode said.

Irish Independent

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