The VHI is to cut the cost of some of its health insurance policies but the reductions will be as little as 1 per cent on some of its once most popular plans.
The company said it had made changes to the price of 26 of its 78 plans and it specifically highlighted the changes to its HealthPlus lines which were formerly known as Plans B to E.
The price of the company’s HealthPlus Access policy - which used to be known as Plan B - is to fall by 1 per cent. The annual cost of the plan for an adult is €2,092.74 so the cut will amount to annual saving of just under €21.
Its HealthPlus Choice plan, which used to be known as Plan C, will also fall by 1 per cent and with the current cost of that plan standing at €3,051.19, the price cut will see holders of that policy save €30.50.
The company has also announced plans to cut the cost of HealthPlus Platimun (Plan E) and HealthPlus Premium (Plan D) by a more substantial 5 per cent in a move which will save holders of those plans as much as €265 on the highest end, which currently costs €5, 312 for an adult.
The majority of changes will take effect on November 1st and alongside the price reductions the company has also announced enhanced day to day cover, lower excesses and the introduction of some new product benefits including cardiac, cancer care and maternity programmes.
"This is good news for our customers," said the VHI's director of marketing and Business Development Declan Moran. "We believe the changes we have announced today will have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing."
The company said its most significant change was to its investment in primary care benefits, in particular on the HealthPlus range of plans, through enhanced day to day cover and through the reduction of outpatient excess levels.
The VHI has also reduced the young adult rate for 18-20 year olds across most plans by an average of 7 per cent while it has “aligned child rates on some plans” leading to what it said was an average reduction of 12 per cent.
"Overall, this is a welcome and surprising development which bucks the usual trend of price increases in the run up to the peak renewal period," said health insurance consultant Dermot Goode of totalhealthcover.ie.
“While it’s too soon to tell what affect this will have on the market overall, it will be interesting to monitor the reaction from the competition. If anything, this news highlights the need to shop around prior to renewal to see if any of these new discounts or offers suit you.”