Health Insurance Authority Launches Information Campaign On Policy Renewals
As policy renewal notifications start to fall through letterboxes this November, the Health Insurance Authority is advising policy holders to check their current plan to ensure they are getting value for money from their health insurance cover. The Authority kicks off a print, radio, TV and digital advertising campaign with the message “Before you renew, see what’s right for you” to encourage policy holders to actively review their current health insurance cover and get information on plans and prices before they renew policies for 2017.
Launching its campaign, Health Insurance Authority CEO, Don Gallagher, said: “With average premiums in 2016 at €1,174 per person, health insurance is a significant annual cost for many families. However, the health insurance market is competitive. One of the ways in which health insurers compete is by targeting different demographic groups of consumers with insurance plans at different levels of cover. In our community-rated health insurance market any customer, irrespective of age or health status, is entitled to avail of any plan offered by any insurance provider.”
Mr. Gallagher added: “The range of insurance plans on offer is changing all the time. Personal and family circumstances also change and this can change the level or type of health insurance needed. Someone who hasn’t reviewed their level of cover, and the price they are paying, in the last three years is unlikely to be getting the best value they can for the cover they need. Switching health insurance product or provider is a very straight forward and easy process.”
Research conducted on behalf of the Authority in 2015 indicated that there is a fairly low level of switching in the health insurance market. Just 24% of policy holders have switched provider at any time since taking out private health insurance. For those that have switched, the main reasons given were cost savings (65%) and the level of cover available (23%). 70% have made no change in the level of cover they have in the previous two years, and 80% had no plans to change their cover in the next 12 months.
The Health Insurance Authority is advising health insurance consumers to take the opportunity of their policy renewal to consider the level of health insurance cover they need for themselves and their families, the cover they have under their existing policy and how much they are paying. They should then check to see what else is available from their current health insurer and from the other insurers and be prepared to switch plan or provider to secure savings and get better value.
The details of every health insurance plan being offered on the Irish market are publicly available on the Health Insurance Authority website at www.hia.ie. The Authority’s website also includes an easy-to-use tool to help consumers select and compare health insurance plans and prices.