Health insurers announce plans to cut members premiums during Covid-19 crisis

Health insurers announce plans to cut members premiums during Covid-19 crisis

Update: Vhi, Laya healthcare and Irish Life Health have today announced plans to reduce premium costs for customers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Vhi, Ireland’s largest health insurer, has announced it will waive an average of 50% of customers premiums over the next three months.

Outlining a detailed response to the range of issues and challenges facing customers as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 public health crisis the insurer also revealed it will be waiving 30% of the premium for customers with Vhi Dental Insurance for the same period.

Announcing its plans this afternoon Laya healthcare said they plan plan to redirect claim cost savings in the form of a benefit to the amount of €195 for every adult member and €60 for every child member.

They suggested that for a family of two adults and two children that would amount to a total of €510.

They said the total will be split into three equal instalments and paid over three months - April to June 2020 –which is the estimated period of time that hospitals will be re-organised in response to Covid-19.

The company said they will pay the first instalment by April30 and said that members with a current active policy will qualify for the monthly instalment.

Irish Life Health also announced it is to give a rebate of between 36 and 60 per cent for those on advanced plans.

Announcing details of their plan Vhi said the purpose of their response was to reassure customers that Vhi will stand by their customers as Covid-19 continues to impact the country.

Declan Moran, Acting Chief Executive said Vhi has an important role to play in these uncertain times.

"Our promise to our customers is that we will be there for them during these difficult days. We are fully supportive of the government’s efforts to have a single united response to fight this crisis and Vhi is committed to playing its part.”

He continued “We have put in place a mechanism that addresses the changed manner in which some services can be delivered. We are doing this in as transparent and fair a manner as possible across our different customer groups.

"As a direct response to the partnership agreement outlined by Government between the PHA and the HSE, Vhi is waiving a percentage of premiums for the duration of the agreement and making a further promise that there will be additional return of value to customers this year if claims levels are lower than our current projections.”

Declan Moran, Acting Chief Executive, Vhi concluded by saying customers, like everyone in the country, are under stress and duress at this time, concerned about family and loved ones.

"Where concerns are compounded by financial worries we are seeking to put measures in place to help alleviate those concerns during these particularly tough days. We have established a specialist team of advisers to handle these cases.”

In a message to cutsomers Dónal Clancy, Managing Director of laya healthcare said the entire Laya healthcare team "would continue to step up and play our part in the weeks and months ahead to join the collective national effort of supporting our community.

He went on: "We will be in touch directly with members to confirm details on the redirected claim cost savings paid as a benefit. This will be returned in the same way we’d pay an everyday medical claim with the first instalment paid by the 30th April 2020."

Reacting to the moves this afternoon the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD welcomed confirmation by health insurance companies to offer customers a rebate during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I welcome the measures announced by each of the insurers today, which are focused towards assisting health insurance customers impacted by the Covid-19 national response.

"The measures announced are being taken in recognition of the temporarily changed landscape in which health insurers currently operate. I am pleased that insurers are exercising forbearance and providing appropriate assistance to their customers during this most challenging time.”

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