VHI Healthcare announced that health insurance premium for their average family customers will increase by approximately €331 per annum or €27.60 per month (price of two adults and two children on Parents & Kids) and that the same price increase of 15% will apply to the premiums of 60% of its customers. The price increase will be effective for renewals or those taking out a new health insurance plan with the VHI from 01st February 2011.
The 15% increase will apply to VHI Healthcare’s Plan A, Parents & Kids, LifeStage Choices and One Plans. The remaining plans will see premium increases as follows:
|Plan B /Plan B Excess||35%|
|Plan B Options||45%|
Thousands of people have cancelled their membership with private health insurers such as the VHI, Aviva and QuinnHealth in recent years. This can be accounted for by a number of reasons: the ever increasing cost of private health insurance, less disposable income each month within households, people switching between providers looking for a cheaper plan, and for those that may have been made redundant, they simply cannot afford such cover.
It is important to remember when you are reviewing your health insurance cover at renewal time, that you do not base your renewal decision simply on potential savings. Eolas Money Management would recommend that people make their decision on benefits first, and then focus on the potential savings.
Too many people tend to have expensive add-on benefits included within their plans, such as cover for GP, physiotherapy and dental visits. However, these typical add on benefits come at a cost and unless you visit the GP, physio or dentist on a regular basis, you may not receive any benefit for this extra cover. You should be aware also of the out-patient excess that applies to most plans.
A key question we at Eolas Money Management ask all our clients – Why do they have health insurance in the first instance – is it to protect against the uncertainty of being admitted to hospital for an expensive surgery, to pay for ongoing medical care, to protect against accidents – or is it to pay for routine day to day GP, physio and dental visits?
For most people, private health insurance is to protect you and your family against unknown threats, to cover the cost of expensive hospital bills and to ensure access to private hospital treatment. Private medical insurance is not for routine day to day costs.
Therefore, at renewal, your decision should be informed and based on plan benefits and hospital coverage. Once you have decided on the most appropriate level of cover based on your age, geographic location, personal and family circumstances, you can then compare the most appropriate plan of all providers based on price.
Putting price before benefits could have significant negative consequences if you need specialised medical attention from specialized consultants in specialised hospitals.
Therefore, when your renewal date approaches, ensure that you have a full understanding of your requirements. Once you are satisfied that you have the appropriate level of cover, you will be able to make an informed decision based on price.
Should you require any help coming up to your renewal date, Eolas Money Management will be able to assess your needs and ensure your decision is informed, unbiased and most importantly, in your best interest.