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Independent

Switching Saturday: Families can reduce health cost and double their cover

Families with health insurance can double the cover they have and save up to €800 at the same time by switching to newer and better-value plans - Charlie Weston

And the families can achieve the massive savings and get better cover without moving insurer.

Half of the health insurance market is set to renew its cover in the first three months of this year.

Many will find that when they come to renew the plan they were on will have risen in price by up to 14pc.

This means that a failure to seek out better value could see families having to fork out an additional €1,000 to €2,000 if they are not careful. And they may not even end up with better cover for the extra expenditure.

Thousands of people are on older plans which are no longer good value, according to Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie. There are now 418 different plans from the four insurers.

However, research by Mr Goode shows a family of two adults and two children could save hundreds of euro and double its cover by sticking with the same insurer, but moving plans.

Families will end up with cover for private hospitals which they do not have in their current plan.

Those families due to renew on VHI's One Plan Access Plus, that move to the same insurer's One Plan 250, would save €180, and get access to private hospitals, as well as public hospitals.

Families on Laya's Essential plan could save €800, and get better cover, by moving from to Flex 250 Explore. This would give them access to private hospitals.

Those families on Aviva's Level 1 Hospital plan would double their cover and save €352 by opting for Select Plus, Mr Goode said.

For GloHealth families a move from the Good plan to Bloom Plus would net savings of €322 and give cover for private hospitals.

Meanwhile, electricity and gas provider Energia has launched a new deal claiming those who switch to it for both fuels can make annual savings of €380.

The supplier is offering 23pc discount on electricity for homeowners, and 20pc off the standard gas tariff.

Those who sign up online will also get €50 cash back, taking the total saving for those who switch both fuels to €380.

People who switch to Energia for electricity from Electric Ireland will save €264, and also qualify for the €50 cash-back offer, according to Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

Those who opt to switch both fuels will save €330 on standard rates and qualify for the cash back.

The Energia deals only apply to new customers.

And Sky is offering a bundle of TV, fibre broadband and telephone services for €49 a month for a one-year contract.

This will mean a saving of €30 a month. Sky is also offering unlimited broadband only for €35 a month.

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