A MAJOR health insurer is to cut the cost of some plans and implement a price freeze on three new entry-level policies.
Laya Healthcare said it will reduce the costs on 12 of its policies, with decreases of between 10pc and 19pc.
Costs will come down by an average of €359 per adult. However, some of the plans seeing premium reductions are still expensive, experts said.
It is the first time there has been a price cut in the market, in a move that will ramp up the pressure on the VHI, Aviva and GloHealth.
Up to now, the two million people with health insurance have had to endure multiple increases each year, with rises of up to 41pc a time on some plans.
Aviva, GloHealth and VHI are all hiking the cost of policies in the coming weeks, while also launching new plans and special offers.
The rises come despite the announcement by Health Minister Leo Varadkar of a range of measures last month aimed at making premiums more affordable.
Now Laya Healthcare, which has around 500,000 customers, is to reverse the trend of ever-rising prices with doubled-digit cuts on 12 plans. The reductions are effective from December 31.
Health insurance expert Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie said said the Essential Connect Family plan, which is coming down by 11pc, is good value.
The adult cost will reduce by €108 a year, and by €200 for a child. For a family of two adults and two children, this plan will cost €2,128, which is a saving of €426.
Three existing corporate plans will be reduced from the end of December as well.
Mr Goode said Connect Choice is well priced at €1,100, as it includes day-to-day cover for routine medical expenses.
Laya is freezing the prices on three new plans and prices will be guaranteed for two years.