Thousands set to give up on health cover

A leading health insurance expert has said thousands of people in Longford could pull out from health insurance cover as a result of recent levy and premium hikes.

A leading health insurance expert has said thousands of people in Longford could pull out from health insurance cover as a result of recent levy and premium hikes.

Dermot Goode of www.healthinsurancesavings.ie has said that the latest Government levy and previous announced increases from insurers will lead to a significant percentage of the 17,000 private health insurance owners in Longford allowing their health insurance to lapse in 2012.

An average Longford family of two adults and two children could see their health insurance bill rise by over €200 this year if all the levies and premium hikes are passed on to the consumer.

According to Mr Goode, “An estimated 17,000 people in Longford have private health insurance and I believe that a significant percentage of these people will not be financially able to maintain their cover.”

Already, Quinn Healthcare have increased their standard plans by an average of 12%, and last week announced a further jump of 6%. Aviva have announced that their plans are to increase by 15% from 15th February next.

The country’s largest insurer, VHI, announced a 2% price increase last November and a further increase is expected sometime in the coming months. Some of their corporate plans have already been increased by up to 15%.

To read this story in full, see this week’s Longford Leader.