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Quinn announces second health insurance price hike of 2012

The insurer said prices across its schemes will rise by six per cent from March.

Image: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

QUINN HEALTHCARE HAS announced a six per cent price hike across almost all its insurance schemes – the second such increase this year.

The insurer said the rise in premiums was “unfortunately unavoidable” after the Government’s increases to the health insurance levy, which came into effect earlier this month.

Quinn’s latest increase will come into effect in March, with customers paying the new price from the time they next renew their policy. The company said its lowest-priced offering, the Essential First scheme, will be excluded from the price rise.

A 12 per cent increase in the average cost of Quinn health insurance came into effect at the beginning of this year after being announced last November.

Changes to the Government’s Age Related Tax Relief scheme – a measure designed to ensure that older people do not pay much higher premiums than younger people – were also to blame for the increase, Quinn said in a statement.

“The dramatic changes to the health levy and rate of ARTR were not anticipated,” Quinn managing director Dónal Clancy said. “We are not in a position to fully absorb such significant increases. We have been left with no choice but to pass on some of the increase.”

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He said the price hikes would mean “more people who can afford it least will be forced into a public health system which is already buckling under intense pressure”.

Insurance firms VHI and Aviva said earlier this year that they hoped to absorb the increases to the government levy, and avoid passing it on to customers.

More: James Reilly to blame for rising health insurance costs – FF>

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Michael Freeman

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