VHI confirms average premiums hike of 6%

Health insurer VHI has confirmed an average increase of 6% in its premiums from next month.

VHI's most popular plans, its One + Plan and One Plan Choice will see a price increase of 4.5%.

The insurer listed a number of factors to explain the price increase, including:

- The increasing volume and cost of claims;

- An ageing membership;

- What it said was an "ineffective" risk Equalisation scheme (RES);

- Medical innovations.

VHI said that innovations in medicine and care, "while welcome, have an impact on the cost of care" and said the biggest challenge for the market was that "the current RES scheme is insufficient to cover the healthcare costs of older customers and must be improved".

VHI Healthcare boss John O’Dwyer said: "The reality is that while VHI Healthcare has 56% marketshare we are paying nearly 80% of the claims", due to the older profile of its customers.

He said the vast majority of older and sicker customers in the market were VHI Healthcare customers (90% of the over 80s, 80% of the over 70s and 67% of the over 60s).

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