Aviva Health Insurance has just announced another hike in premiums, the second in less than 2 months with some policies set to increase by up to 20%.
This mirrors similar increases announced a few weeks earlier by Laya, Ireland’s second largest health insurance provider where policies are also set to rise by 20%. Glo, a smaller market player will also push up prices as will the Vhi, where it plans to increase prices by between 3 and 6%.
The private health insurance market across Ireland is a mess. An estimated 60,000 per year are dropping cover. Young people are failing to enter the market. Families burdened down with personal debt are dropping cover leaving the elderly to carry the burden.
For the health insurance market to work properly, it needs a healthy mix of all three.
The private health insurance market in Ireland is now developing all the hallmarks of an industry in rapid decline. Rising costs and declining membership are the ingredients of failure. An endless drip of multiple price hike announcements that arrive with increasing frequency numb the masses; many now believe it’s just a matter of time before the entire system comes to a grinding halt.
Consumers now face the harsh reality of choosing between paying a mortgage and keeping their homes or paying for a policy they may never use. ..and when they do, receive a level of service that is less than what they paid for. Lots of consumers (rightly) rationalise the public health system may not be so bad after all.
For many, continuing to pay for private health cover is becoming an emotive luxury they can no longer afford.