Irish Life Healthcare excludes the payment of new refunds to customers
Health insurance provider Irish Life has ruled out paying refunds to its customers, even though its competitors continue to refund their members.
It comes after it was revealed this week that Laya Healthcare is set to reimburse families around €240.
It is the second time it has returned money to members since the pandemic broke out.
And Vhi Healthcare paid out a third rebate in May, with a family of two adults and two children receiving a typical refund of €400.
Health insurers are making huge savings because fewer people are claiming benefits from their health insurers for public hospital procedures due to Covid-related overcrowding.
But Irish Life said it is using any savings to keep premiums down.
This is despite the fact that it was paying out reimbursements in early 2020 when private hospitals and clinics were taken over by the state and were unavailable to people to have procedures under their health insurance.
With around 450,000 customers, Irish Life is the third largest player in the health insurance market.
Asked if it would follow Vhi and Laya in issuing further reimbursements, Irish Life said: “Irish Life Health takes a sustainable approach and manages savings for its customers through their prices.
“Irish Life Health aims to pass savings on to customers through their annual or monthly premium to help make the ongoing cost of health insurance sustainable for customers.”
It added that it has given discounts to its customers, which amounted to between 36 percent and 60 percent in premiums in early 2020.
According to calculations by Dermot Goode from TotalHealthCover.ie, this meant savings of between 130 and 450 euros over a period of three months, depending on the tariff.
Irish Life also said it was the first and only health insurer to cut prices by 3 per cent in April this year.
It insisted that members benefit from savings passed on to them.
The insurer said the latest quarterly report from the regulator, the Health Insurance Authority, shows Irish Life Health has the lowest increases among its top five plans from 2021 to 2022.
Laya will refund €85 to every adult customer starting next month, regardless of their plan. Each child will receive a refund of €35.
The refund will be sent to the main policyholder’s bank account in July if Laya has bank details.
If no information is given, payment will be made by check from August.
Laya stressed there was no need to call for refunds, with additional information on his website www.layahealthcare.ie.
In May, Vhi reimbursed its members between 75 and 300 euros per adult due to a drop in claims.
It was the third time that it had waived part of the premium for its customers since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, it said at the time.
Mr Goode said the top three health insurers have repeatedly said the reimbursements are one-off but they have kept coming.
“This is great news for consumers given what’s happening with prices in general,” he said.
He said claims from health insurers had fallen far because the new wave of Covid meant public hospitals couldn’t take people for insurer-funded procedures and older people were reluctant to go public
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/health-insurance/irish-life-healthcare-rules-out-paying-new-refunds-to-customers-41779655.html Irish Life Healthcare excludes the payment of new refunds to customers