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
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
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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