Varadkar welcomes 3% cut in VHI premiums on 7 plans

Prices frozen across rest of VHI products

Move follows Govt’s package of health insurance measures

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has described the 3% cut in seven VHI policies as a major boost for consumers in an important year for the health insurance market.

“I very much welcome VHI’s decision to reduce premiums on seven of its policies and to freeze prices on its other products. The price changes represent good value for new and existing customers,” Minister Varadkar said.

“It follows the Private Health Insurance package I announced in November last year, which was designed to address rising premiums and stabilise the private health insurance market in the interest of consumers. Making health insurance affordable for more individuals and families is one of my stated priorities for 2015.”

The Private Health Insurance package included:

  • a reduction in the community rating levy;
  • special lower premiums for young adults;
  • the introduction of Lifetime Community Rating;
  • and a reduction in the Health Insurance Authority funding levy.

“These changes have already facilitated reductions in the cost of some policies, generally in single digits but in one case by as much as 19.1%, or have mitigated proposed rises in the prices of others. Where insurers have applied increases, they are generally in single digits. This shows that there is plenty of competition in the market, and plenty of scope for consumers to benefit by shopping around to get real value when purchasing health insurance.

“A further significant change comes into effect from May 1st with the introduction of Lifetime Community Rating, which is designed to encourage young people to take out health insurance at an earlier age. From that date, loadings will be applied to people over the age of 35 who take out insurance for the first time.

“In advance of Lifetime Community Rating, I am happy to see a range of appropriate products, competitively priced available to consumers.”