Aviva announces 5.2% rise in its health insurance plans

Price increases across range of plans will be effective from the beginning of next year

Health insurance with Aviva will cost thousands of families more than € 120 more each year after the company announced premium price increases of an average of 5.2 per cent this morning.

Health insurance with Aviva will cost thousands of families more than € 120 more each year after the company announced premium price increases of an average of 5.2 per cent this morning.

Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 15:05

Health insurance with Aviva will cost thousands of families more than € 120 more each year after the company announced premium price increases of an average of 5.2 per cent this morning.

The price increases across a range of its plans will be effective from the beginning of next year and come just days after Glo Health announced similar increases on its policies.

Aviva said it regretted that it has had to impose its latest increase blaming the impact of recent changes in Government policy on public hospital bed charges and the increase in the cost of claims which, it said, had been driven upwards by “the shift in the age composition of our customer base”.

Last Friday evening, the Government informed health insurers of its decision not to reduce the rates set out in legislation passed by the Oireachtas last July which allows privately insured patients to be charged for the use of a public bed in a public hospital.

This means that from the beginning of January, patients with private health insurance will be charged up to € 813 per night when they occupy a public bed in a public hospital. The current charge is € 75 per night. Aviva said the new charge “directly increases the cost of providing cover for our members”.

Its chief executive Alison Burns claimed the company was “deeply conscious of the struggle our customers face to maintain their health cover” and she said it had taken the decision not to increase the price of some of its entry level plans.

“Those due to renew in January and February already face premium increases as a result of the government’s decision to reduce tax relief. With this in mind, we have held our increase to the absolute minimum of an average of 5.2 per cent.”

She added that Aviva would have to keep premium prices under review over the coming months.

“Recent government policy changes have severely disrupted the health insurance market and their impact on customer behaviour remains to be seen. Our first obligation as a responsible regulated insurer is to make sure we are in a position to pay the claims of our customers when they get sick,” she stressed.

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