A MOTHER of two children under the age of six has described as "disgraceful" a shock decision by the VHI to raise its premiums, writes Edel O'Connell.
Anne Marie O'Riordan said her young family will have no choice but to make even further cutbacks to an already "squeezed household budget" in order to continue to afford the family's health-insurance policy.
Anne Marie works on a part-time basis while her husband works full-time. They have two children aged three and six years.
She said the family currently pay out €200 a month for their Plan B Options family plan. But will now have to pay up to €290 a month from next month following the hikes.
"It is unbelievable -- €90 a month is a lot of money to a young family with two children.
"Lots of our friends have had to opt out of private health insurance as they can no longer afford it, so I can only imagine how many more will go following this latest announcement," she said.
"It is difficult enough with all the levies to manage even on two incomes. We will definitely be looking into other health insurers to see if we can get a better deal.
"To do this at a time when everyone is struggling is disgraceful. I would like to know what the VHI are doing to cut costs and whether their staff are feeling the pinch of cost-cutting measures the same way everybody else has been forced too," she added.