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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
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VHI to return money to customers as number of claims remains lower than expected due to pandemic

Customers will receive a return ranging from €75 to €300 per adult and from €25 to €100 per child.

HEALTH INSURER VHI is returning some money to customers after the number of claims in 2021 was lower than expected.

The number of customer claims was lower last year than VHI had anticipated, which it attributes to Covid-19.

Customers will now receive a premium waiver returned to them ranging from €75 to €300 per adult and from €25 to €100 per child depending on their insurance plan.

The insurer plans to write to customers with details of the waiver and transfer the relevant amount directly to bank accounts or by cheque, where necessary, in May.

VHI also announced today that prices will be reduced by an average of 3% from 1 May because it expects that claims will be lower than pre-pandemic levels again this year.

Claims from the private hospital sector are beginning to return to normal, but claims from public hospitals may take longer to recover, it said.

In a statement, VHI chief executive Declan Moran said the pandemic “utterly changed how healthcare was delivered and accessed over the past two years”.

“The ability to provide access to our customers to healthcare settings has been severely limited and as a result, claims are down,” Moran said.

“In recognition of this fact we are once again waiving a portion of premium for our customer. Vhi exists solely to meet the healthcare needs of our customers. We are unique in the market in this respect and this third waiver of premium means we will have returned €450m back to our customers.”

Health insurance expert Dermot Goode of Total Health Cover said that “these VHI reductions in their premium costs should benefit all members from 1 May onwards”.

“The quantum of the rebate is definitely higher than expected. VHI are attributing this to the lower-than-expected claims pay-outs especially in relation to public hospitals which is interesting,” Goode said.

“It comes on the back of a rebate on the health insurance levy announced by Irish Life Health which will see all their plans reduce slightly from 1 April. Laya have also announced a small decrease on five of their plans from the 1 of April and also an extension of their free cover offer for children under 18,” he said.

“Whilst this is welcome news for all health insurance members, it’s important to remind consumers of the need to shop around at each renewal to make sure you’re on the best value cover.”

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