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VHI to raise prices by 3pc

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Health insurer Vhi will increase its prices by an average of 3pc from April 1st, despite ongoing disruptions that mean many people have had limited access to private health care over the past year.

The company said the increase is necessary to cover rising costs including due to enhanced and necessary COVID related infection control measures in clinical settings, as well as the costs of new drugs, technologies and procedures.

Since the start of the pandemic Vhi has twice waived a share of customers’ premiums reflecting the fact that claims for 2020 were lower than expected as a result of the reduced access to healthcare facilities.

Procedures in many private hospitals were not available for a share of last year because the capacity was block booked by government as part of the National Response to COVID-19.

Vhi Director, Marketing and Business Development Declan Moran said the waived premiums last year added up to €265m. However, he said premiums will now rise.

“Despite the fact that claims were down in 2020, the cost of delivering care to those who avail of it, continues to rise. There will be significant pent-up demand across all parts of the healthcare system and we need to look to the future to ensure that we can deliver that care to customers, not just this year but over the next number of years.”

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