Over-70s cost six times more
Health insurers pay out six times more in claims for customers in their 70s compared with someone in their 30s.
The average payout for the older customer is €4,000 while for the younger it is €707.
So the revelation in the HIA report is hardly a surprise. The companies have to devise plans that will attract the young through cheaper prices and deter the old by leaving out key benefits.
At the recent National Healthcare Conference in Dublin, Laya Healthcare took the lead in warning about the exodus of young and healthy subscribers.
The authority agrees this level of exit must be tackled, and its report has clear messages for the Department of Health to allow insurers more flexibility.
The department has long promised to let insurers charge a "loading" on people who wait until they are older to take out cover. The HIA suggests this should apply from as young as 30.
But even if it does move on these initiatives, the continuing squeeze may make the withdrawal of thousands more young and healthy people in the coming months inevitable.