Laya premiumsto rise by up to 16.5%

Sat, Feb 23, 2013, 00:00

Laya Healthcare is to increase the cost of its health insurance premiums by up to 16.5 per cent from the beginning of April, in a move that will see some households worse off by more than €200 a year

Announcing the price increases yesterday, the company insisted they were necessary and blamed Government policy for driving premiums higher.

The price increases will range from just over 6 per cent to 16.5 per cent, with the company putting the average increase at 10.8 per cent.

It is the second price hike announced by Laya in just three months. At the beginning of December, it increased the cost of policies by between 3 and 14 per cent.

All told the company has increased the cost of some of its biggest-selling products at least four times in two years.

“We are very conscious of the impact this increase may have on our members,” the company’s managing director, Dónal Clancy, said yesterday, adding that “cost variables in the market which are outside of our control” were behind the latest increases.

“These are primarily the increases to the Government health levy, which VHI continues to benefit from, and the rising cost of providing medical treatments for our customers,” he said.

Mr Clancy pointed to an increase in the Government health levy from €285 to €350 per adult, and from €95 to €120 per child, from March 31st, and he noted that since its introduction as an interim solution to risk-equalisation in 2009, the health levy had gone up by 119 per cent per adult and 126 per cent per child.

He claimed it would cost the company about €60 million this year, an increase of €14 million on 2012.