Monday 23 October 2017

More pain as another health insurer plans second hike

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

FAMILIES will be forced to fork out more for health insurance after another insurer said it would impose a second hike in premiums this year.

GloHealth is to increase premiums by an average of 5pc from the end of the month, with the rise set to cost families an extra €190 a year. It also raised premiums in January.

Laya Healthcare has also announced two rises, prompting fears that more families will be forced to dispense with their cover. VHI and Aviva have also upped premiums this year.

Dermot Goode of said the two GloHealth rises would mean a family of two adults and two children will have seen the cost of the Better plan rise by €310 since the start of the year.

GloHealth entered the market last summer, targeting families with young children.

Premiums went up by 8pc from the end of January in a move that cost families insured with Glo an extra €120 a year.

GloHealth chief executive Jim Dowdall blamed the Government for the price rise. He said its move to add €65 to the cost of the levy imposed on every health policy forced it to again raise premiums.

The levy ends up compensating the VHI for having a majority of older, more expensive customers.

There was supposed to be a smaller levy on cheaper health plans, but it has since transpired that every health plan will have the higher levy.

"This increase is a result of the mishandling by the Department of Health of the creation of a two-tier health levy system," Mr Dowdall said.

Last week, Laya said it would impose average rises of 11pc from the start of April.

It comes after rises of an average of 12pc came into effect earlier this year. VHI and Aviva also raised premiums.

Irish Independent

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