VHI customers face 3% increase in prices

Health insurer says hike is the result of the rising cost of claims in public hospitals

The cost of health insurance for hundreds of thousands of VHI customers is to go up by an average of 3 per cent from November.

The company attributed planned increases in costs across a range of its plans to the rising cost of claims, particularly in public hospitals.

The State-owned VHI is the country’s largest health insurer and has about one million customers.

VHI director of marketing and business development Declan Moran said: "The main reason for the price increase is the rising cost of claims and in particular the rising cost of claims in public hospitals.

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“We are very aware of the financial pressures that continue to face our customers and have sought to keep the price increase as low as possible without compromising cover.

“We are constantly reviewing our health insurance plans to ensure they are comprehensive and relevant.”

Mr Moran said the company would offer half-price rates for children under its “One-Plan Family” scheme, “for people who renewed their cover or who took out private health insurance between November 1st and December 30th, 2016.

“We hope this will take some of the pressure off families,” he said.

Examples

In examples which it set out on Thursday, VHI said the cost of its “One-Plan Family” scheme covering two adults and two children would increase to €2682.28 a year from November - a monthly rise of €10.11.

The company said the cost of its “Start Plan” for adults would increase by €1.31 per month from November, bringing the annual cost to €464.71.

VHI said the cost of its “One-Plan 250” scheme would rise by €3.41 a month, bringing the annual cost to €889.21.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent