Laya Healthcare customers in line for support payments

Insurer said it would be contacting its customers in the coming weeks with details

Laya Healthcare said it would be contacting customers in the coming weeks

Laya Healthcare is to make "further support payments" to its customers in the coming weeks as the inflation and the cost of living continues to rise.

Health insurer VHI on Monday announced a refund for customers due to the continued reduction in claims because of the Covid-19 crisis.

It said customers are in line to receive refunds of up to €300 per adult and a maximum €100 per child, depending on the type of policies they are on. Even those customers on its lowest plans will save up to €75 per adult and €25 per child following the announcement.

All customers who have a health insurance policy with VHI on May 1st will be eligible for the premium waiver and do not need to contact the company, the insurer said.

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In response to queries from The Irish Times, Laya said it would be contacting customers in the coming weeks with details of new support payments.

“At the moment Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise, the situation in hospitals and claims costs are continuing to evolve, and we are seeing ongoing medical inflation,” said a spokeswoman for the insurer.

“This is an evolving situation and in the coming weeks we will be communicating directly to our members about how we will be making further support payments to them.”

Levy cut

The insurer also said it would be passing on levy reduction savings to its 640,000 members. The savings will be directly applied to the renewal premiums of those renewing from April 1st until March 31st, 2023, the period that the levy will be reduced.

During the first wave of Covid 19, Laya refunded about €100 million to its customers. “For the second time in two years, Laya healthcare is putting money back in its members’ pockets,” the spokeswoman said.

She added that it was extending unrestricted access to digital healthcare benefits including access to GPs, nurses and physios.

Meanwhile, Irish Life Health said the reduction in claims due to Covid-19 has already been factored into premiums, but added that customers will see an average reduction of 2.9 per cent across hospital plans from Friday, reflecting the reduction in the Government levy.

“Following on from a previous premium rebate to customers during the Covid pandemic, the reduction in claims costs from public hospitals has been factored into Irish Life Health’s premiums on an ongoing basis,” a spokeswoman said. “This has been used to manage the inflationary pressures that would have otherwise affected customers’ premiums.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter