“People should keep looking around” – health insurance discounts cost families 1,000 euros if they stop switching

The move by health insurers to give discounts to their members puts people off looking for a better price, it turns out.

This means that many families and older people pay up to 1,000 euros too much.

Paying rebates by VHI and Laya means insurance costs have not increased for many this year, making them more likely to stick with low-value plans, said leading health insurance broker Dermot Goode.

People switching plans or switching providers could save many times the value of the rebates, said TotalHealthCover.ie’s Mr Goode.

Over the summer, Laya Healthcare paid out reimbursements worth around €240 per family.

It was the second time it has returned money 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 have saved enormously during the pandemic because fewer people are applying to their health insurers for procedures in public hospitals because of Covid-related overcrowding.

Mr Goode said the rebates are welcome but are worth less than the potential savings that could be made by switching to a different plan.

“For example, for most VHI members, the VHI discount paid last May was between 150 and 300 euros per adult, depending on the plan. However, adults with older health plans could save anywhere from €500 to €1,200 per year per person by switching to cheaper coverage, depending on the plan,” he said. He listed what he thought were low value plans currently on offer.

These include VHI Health Plus Extra, which costs €2,740 per year; Irish Life Health Level 2 Hospital Excess, which costs €2,657 per year; and Laya’s Essential Plus Excess, which costs €3,084 per year.

He said that people who are afraid of change still have these or similarly expensive plans.

“These people could save anywhere from €700 to over €1,200 per adult per year by switching to alternatives such as Irish Life Health’s 4D Health 5, which costs €1,823, Layas Momentum, which costs €1,825, and VHI’s Advanced Care 50 Day to change day, which costs €2,016.”

Around one million health insurance customers are extending their private health insurance from December.

“People should continue to look for cheaper health insurance regardless of discounts they receive,” Mr. Goode said.

“Taking $500 or $1,000 off your annual health insurance bill per adult would be a huge help this winter when so many of us have doubled our energy bills since the beginning of the year.”

He said older people are particularly bad at shopping for cheaper coverage.

Families also don’t look around properly and miss out on discount offers or even free coverage for dependent children.

Although families are less likely to have outdated plans than older people, a family of two parents and two adult children between the ages of 18 and 20 could be paying up to €1,100 a year too much for their insurance coverage.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/people-should-continue-to-shop-around-health-cover-rebates-costing-families-1000-as-they-stop-switching-42071054.html “People should keep looking around” – health insurance discounts cost families 1,000 euros if they stop switching

Fry Electronics Team

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