Vhi Healthcare, the State-owned health insurer, announced today that it will increase its prices by an average of 9% next month with increases ranging from 6% - 12.5%. For most plans the price increase will be effective from 1st March, 2012. Vhi Healthcare said that the price increase is necessary to fund the healthcare needs of its customers.
Declan Moran, chief executive, Vhi Healthcare said “The sole purpose of the price increase is to cover our customers’ healthcare costs in the coming year. The two key factors contributing to the increase are: 1) The increased demand for healthcare - - Vhi Healthcare’s average claims cost per customer has increased by 15% since 2009 (from €851 to €980), with growth in demand for healthcare by our customers being the most significant factor; 2) Vhi Healthcare’s private health insurance business is currently loss making, the market has contracted and we need to ensure the organisation is sustainable."
He continued “we are acutely aware of the enormous financial pressures facing our customers and have endeavoured to keep the price increases on our plans as low as possible. In particular we have sought to keep our family plans affordable for as many families as we could. Today’s price increase is the lowest possible amount we could introduce to ensure we can meet the cost of our customers’ healthcare needs in 2012. Vhi Healthcare also needs to be sustainable into the future with a view to achieving financial regulation as required by the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice. This is a strategic imperative for us.”
In 2011 Vhi said it spent over €1.2bn in funding the healthcare needs of its customers. It has about 1.3m subscribers.
Consultants fees per procedure have been reduced by 15% since 2008 and Vhi Healthcare has made savings of almost €60m in this area since 2009.
The HealthPlus Extra policy, which used to be known as Plan B Options, will rise 12.5%.
The increase for the OnePlus plan, result in the current annual premium for two adults and two children rising from €2,093 to €2,250.
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