We’re barely six months into the year and our heads are spinning when it comes to keeping up with health insurance news. It feels like all of the insurance providers are trying to battle it out to see who can hike their prices the most in the shortest time frame.
Laya Healthcare is currently in the lead, having just hiked their prices for a third time since the beginning of this year. The provider finds itself only slightly ahead of VHI and Irish Life Health, both of whom have increased their prices twice in the last 6 months.
There doesn't seem to be a unifying cause to the price hikes, with each provider citing a different reason in the blame game. For instance, VHI has pointed to the rising cost of claims caused by Ireland’s ageing population as the main reason behind its price hikes, while Laya Healthcare has blamed new hospital charges on its increases.
Another contributing factor includes the well-documented long waiting lists at public hospitals, where more and more people make claims to jump the queues and get treatment in private hospitals.
Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie estimates Laya Healthcare's latest price hike could cost a family of two adults and two children between €150 and €350, depending on their plan, when they go to renew their cover. If you take all three of Laya Healthcare's hikes this year into account, the total increase amounts to something nearer €450.
Despite price hikes across the board, it’s interesting to note that the number of people who hold private health insurance is increasing. New statistics show that figures are up 30,000 from a year ago and that 2.15 million people now have health insurance.
Dermot Goode says that the ‘creeping effect’ of health insurance price hikes shows no signs of stopping and we can expect more of the same, with the next increase likely in quarter 4 of this year.
Consequently, it might seem like there’s no point in trying to find a better deal but there are steps you can take to minimise the impact of the increases. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of Irish households are paying more than they have to for health insurance. That’s a lot!
Thus, a good first step to take is to review your existing plan and see if there's a better plan available for your requirements.
You can now book a consultation with an expert health insurance adviser on bonkers.ie. Your existing plan will be thoroughly reviewed, a full market comparison will be conducted and you'll be given a list of the best options available to you.
By arranging a review, you can not only protect yourself against the full impact of the new price increases, you can gain the peace of mind of knowing that you're on the right health insurance plan for you and your family.
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