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Over 50,000 Irish People "Missing Out On Savings" Of 20% Following 2015 "Health Insurance Penalty"

By Darragh Berry

May 1, 2018 at 3:11pm

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With the weekend close upon us, it's nice to know that we could have the chance to save ourselves a few quid in the long run.

And what you do with that extra few euro is entirely up to you, personally, we know exactly where we'd be heading. 

It has come to light that many Irish people who beat a Health Insurance penalty deadline three years ago could be at risk of currently overpaying their insurance by up to 20%.

Dermot Goode, leading health insurance expert at Totalhealthcover.ie, states that: “People wisely took out cover in 2015 to avoid the new age loading but may now be overpaying by multiples of the 2% loading figure.”

Of the 100,000 consumers who joined health insurance prior to the deadline of 30th April 2015, approximately 50% of these (50,000) took out an entry level plan for themselves and their families in order to get into the system and avoid future loadings. 

Goode is warning that the premiums on many of those plans have risen considerably over the intervening years, and better deals are now available with almost identical cover, some of which may be up to 20% cheaper.

“Our research indicates that many people don’t bother reviewing or switching their cover at renewal, so it's very likely that the majority of these customers will continue to overpay. 

"Many younger members believe that because they joined an entry level plan some years ago, there are no savings to be achieved. Think again – new plans are coming on-stream almost monthly and other plans are being discounted from time-to-time, so people should always check the other options prior to renewal to ensure that potential savings are not being missed.”

The deadline they are talking about was for Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) which was introduced in May 2015 and was set up to encourage younger members to join health insurance early to avoid these new age loadings.  

Now, anyone who is over 34 on joining and who has never had health insurance previously, will be charged a 2% loading on the gross premium for every year over 34.

Goode has outlined just some of the plans and providers that are now offering cheaper policies:

“Many Laya customers joined the Assure Vitality scheme which now costs €599 per adult and €175 per child (Family Cost €1,548).  

"But they could now switch to a similar plan called Assure Protect which will reduce their costs to €536 per adult and €170 per child, bringing the total family cost to €1,412.  

"However, as Laya are offering free cover for the 2nd and subsequent child under 18, this family could reduce their total cost to €1,242 by placing their youngest child on the Flex 125 Choice scheme for the next year which will be free-of-charge.  

"This reduces their cost to €1,242 for the family which is a total saving of €306 or 20% for the coming year - a massive potential saving.  

"Consumers who had opted for the Select scheme from Irish Life Health costing €565 per adult and €194 per child (cost for a family with 2 adults and 2 children = €1,518), can now switch to the equivalent Select Starter scheme from Irish Life Health which will reduce their costs to €486 per adult and €135 per child, which amounts to €1,242 for a typical family. This equates to a family saving of €276 or 18% which is huge."

"The same applies to VHI members who may have joined the VHI One Plan Starter which now costs €510 per adult and €154 per child (Family cost of €1,328 for 2 + 2). These members could now consider the VHI Start Plan at €448 per adult and €103 per child for the coming year. This plan doesn’t cover every public hospital but may be more than adequate for a family looking to minimise their costs. The family cost of this plan will be €1,102 - a saving of €226 or 17% for the coming year.”

This new piece of information has come into the public domain just one week after it was found that nearly 100,000 married Irish people are still missing out on this big marriage tax savings which is being described as a 'Wedding Gift' from Revenue.

Sure look, better in your pocket than someone else's.

READ NEXT: Six Irish Food Businesses Ordered To Close In April Over Food Safety Concerns

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