Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has said that VHI’s decision to cut premiums on 7 of its plans and freeze the prices across the rest of its policies is a positive development in terms of making private health insurance more affordable.
“Over the last number of years, due to a combination of economic conditions and rising health insurance premiums, private health insurance became unobtainable for many people in our society. This is simply unacceptable as health insurance is not a ‘luxury’ but is an important resource which must be affordable for all. I am pleased that VHI have taken the decision to cut the premiums on 7 of their plans by 3% while freezing prices on the rest of the policies they offer.
“Last November, Minister Varadkar introduced the Private Health Insurance Package which largely focused on implementing measures to allow for a reduction in the cost of health insurance and, following this, a number of policies have become more affordable. However, this is an issue which we must continue to monitor and address, particularly given the fact that the number of young people who held health insurance dropped significantly between mid-2010 and mid-2014.
“With the youngest population demographic in the State, it is essential that young people in Dublin Fingal can obtain and afford health insurance cover. On May 1st this year, the Lifetime Community Rating will come into effect. This is a modification of the community rating system and it will encourage people to take out health insurance cover at a younger age. Under the Lifetime Community Rating system, those who take our insurance at a younger age will pay lower premiums than those who take out health insurance for the first time when they are over the age of 35.”