Firm claims families are paying too much for health insurance due to 'complacency and fear'

Your family could be spending €1,200 extra on health insurance, if you do not shop around.

Firm claims families are paying too much for health insurance due to 'complacency and fear'

Your family could be spending €1,200 extra on health insurance, if you do not shop around.

That is the message in a study from totalhealthcover.ie.

The company says factors like complacency and fear are some of the reasons why people are not making more savings.

An analysis of more than 500 review cases of health insurance policy holders in Ireland found that households are overpaying on their health insurance by an average of 19%.

This equates to more than €700, with some overpaying by as much as €1,200 on like-for-like family plans.

The study, which involved a series of one-to-one reviews and group information sessions, also found that older people fare worse primarily because of a lack of knowledge of entitlements and inadequate communications from insurers.

According to totalhealthcover.ie research, older people pay even higher premiums because they tend to be insured on the most dated plans.

Health insurance expert and totalhealthcover.ie founder Dermot Goode said that the research showed that people need to shop around when taking out health insurance.

“Health insurance rates are on the increase again and more price hikes are likely,” he said. “We ran some figures to give people an indication of the huge price variation that exists across the industry for plans with similar or equivalent cover — often with the same insurers.

“Consumers who are open to switching will save the most. From speaking with people, the primary factors for not switching include complacency, inertia, loyalty, and fear.”

More than 2.1 million people across the country have health insurance.

The company has issued tips to reduce your health insurance costs:

Split your cover - e.g. put the adults on a high plan and children on lower cover

Claim Student Rates (age 18-20); don’t expect the insurer to offer them to you

Follow the best ‘Corporate Deals’ each year to keep your cover up to date

Give up your Private Room cover – it’s too expensive and never guaranteed

Check out all the Special Offers especially for children, e.g. free cover or ½ price cover

Take an Excess for a reduced premium (excess applies to private hospital stays only)

Switch Insurer for better deals. You don’t have to re-serve your waiting periods again

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