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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019
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One in three families plan to give up private healthcare

In 2012, 64,000 people dropped their health cover.

Image: Piggy Bank via Shutterstock

ONE THIRD OF young families plan to drop private health insurance this year, according to new research commissioned by Laya Healthcare.

The study also showed that one in six claim they can no longer afford it, while almost half say they are unhappy about the upcoming increase in the government levy charge which will downgrade their health cover to more basic benefits from 31 March.

Almost 64,000 people dropped their cover in 2012, indicating that increasing prices are having serious affects.

Almost one in nine people are worried about falling ill and having to rely on the public health system, while 74 per cent plan to fast track medical procedures while they have private health insurance in place. For those planning on cancelling or downgrading their cover, 86 per cent said they will delay going to their GP to keep costs down.

Dónal Clancy, Managing Director of Laya Healthcare, who will give the keynote address at the National Healthcare Conference tomorrow said ways need to be found to incentivise people to take up private health cover because the current system is unfair:

The current system is unfair in that the majority of people on more basic plans are cross-subsidising those on the premium top-tier plans with all the frills. This is unjust and is fuelling a record market decline. Applying risk equalisation to a core, standard set of benefits would help stabilise the market and address the issue of fairness.

The majority (76 per cent) of health professionals do not think that Ireland’s health system was designed to protect the people that need it most. In line with this, 100 per cent of health professionals said that Ireland’s health system is in need of urgent reform.

Read: Numbers with private health insurance fall by 64,000 in 2012 >

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Amy Croffey

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