Private health insurance in Ireland is expected to rise a further €800 (£668) a year, forcing more people onto the countries already buckling public health system, the Irish Times reported.
All three Irish private health companies – Quinn Healthcare, Aviva and VHI – expect to raise their prices as government levy’s look to cost insurance companies €20 million each in one year.
Recent rises in private health insurance in Ireland have already been proving too much for customers, with price rises at the end of last year forcing many families to ditch their private cover.
Around 6,000 people leave their private cover each month in Ireland as they cannot afford to meet the soaring costs.
Quinn Healthcare yesterday announced it would be rising prices by 6 per cent, on to of the 25 per cent rise at the beginning of the month and two other rises last year.
Aviva is expected to rise policies from 15 per cent after two separate increases last year, and VHI is also expected to announce increases within weeks, after price rises last year resulted in customers being charged up to 48 per cent more for their cover.
Despite health minister Jamel Riley assuring customers that the increased levy’s wont affect the price of their insurance, the estimated €20 million a year per insurer has to come from somewhere, says Quinn Healthcare director Donal Clancy.
“We fear that these levy hikes will mean that, undoubtedly, more people who can afford it least will be forced into a public health system which is already buckling under intense pressure,”
On top of the levy, the government plans to charge insurers every time a person with private cover uses A&E. Legislation will be introduced this year to introduce the new system, expected to cost insurers around €143 million.
The incoming legislation could result in price rises of up to 50 per cent, VHI warned.
The latest Quinn rise will be implemented at the next renewal of policies. If will see the cost of a typical policy for two adults and two children on ‘Essential Plus Excess’ jump from €2,151 last January to €2,959.