Top-end health plans to rise by €800 after move to cut tax relief

Further price increases expected in the months ahead

Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 06:53


Subscribers to top-level health insurance plans face increases of about €800 on their policies as a result of the Government’s controversial decision to reduce tax relief provision in the budget last week.

The main health insurance companies are to commence informing subscribers due to renew that previously-advised price levels will be adjusted upwards on foot of the tax relief cut which came into effect immediately after the budget last week.


Subscribers
The net price which subscribers have to pay for top-level plans will increase by about 20 per cent because of the Government move.

This will see plans such as the VHI’s “healthplus platinum” (the former Plan E) rise by just under €800 for individuals.

Other higher-end health insurance plans such as the VHI’s healthplus premium (the former Plan D) will increase by about 18 per cent or by nearly €500.

The new increases will be in addition to further price hikes expected to be introduced by health insurers in the months ahead.

Another Government measure, to charge for all private patients treated in public hospitals, even if not in designated private beds, will almost certainly lead to further subscripton increases after it comes into effect in January.

The reduction in tax relief on subscriptions was one of the issues raised by older people at their protest at the Dáil yesterday.


Tax relief
In the budget last week the Government put in place a cap of €1,000 (€500 for children) on the level of premiums which attracted tax relief for adults .

Up to now tax relief of 20 per cent was available for the full cost of health insurance policies.

Overall the introduction of the measure will see prices rise by between 3 per cent and 20 per cent, with the largest subscription hikes applying to the more expensive health insurance plans.

The health insurance industry has argued that up to 1.2 million will be affected by the reduction in tax relief. The Department of Finance said the number was 577,000.