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Laya Healthcare to increase prices by average of 20 per cent

The company says that it has to increase premiums due to changes in Government policy and the rising cost of claims.

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LAYA HEALTHCARE IS to increase its premiums from March by an average of 20 per cent – and it says that Government policy is partly to blame.

The company said today that it will increase premiums across a number of its schemes with effect from 1 March.

An adult on Laya Healthcare Essential Secure will pay €514.55, compared to VHi Healthcare One Plan Starter €547.08, Aviva Health Level Starter €615.20 and GloHealth Basic Plan €595.00

GloHealth is also said to be increasing its prices, by €49 per adult and €14 per child per year, RTÉ reports.

Increase

The average increase will be 20 per cent, and Laya Healthcare says the change is due to factors including changes to Government policy and the rising cost of claims.

Dónal Clancy, Managing Director at Laya Healthcare, said that they “are very conscious of the impact the market is having on our members”.

But he said that “unfortunately the market has come under unprecedented pressure from major increases by the Government, specifically further hikes to the Government Health Levy and the public beds redesignation charge”.

The net cost of the Government Health Levy to Laya Healthcare will be c€72m in 2014 – an increase of 33 per cent compared to 2013.

Among the costs that are driving Laya Healthcare’s price review are the charge for all beds in public hospitals, and changes to risk equalisation credits.

The cost of claims continues to increase, and went up by almost 9 per cent in 2013 from 2012.

According to Laya Healthcare, this increase is being fuelled by the rising cost of providing advanced medical treatments for members.

It also says that younger, healthier people are being driven out of the market and that since 2007, the volume of claims from older members has more than doubled.

Clancy said the company is “fighting hard on behalf of our members to be part of the Government agenda for health reform with genuine consultation key to achieving a fair, equitable health insurance system”.

Read: Health insurance bosses stress the need to attract young people to the market>

Read: Health insurance levy will cost customers “up to 15 per cent”>

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