Report reveals extent of people dropping health insurance
on 20/03/2013 10:59:56
Laya healthcare's Managing Director, Dónal Clancy, said the private health insurance industry was critically sick, perhaps terminal, because of the rising price of health insurance.
Mr Clancy challenged Health Minister Reilly to address the issue.
His call comes on the back of new research commissioned by Laya which reveals that one in three private health insurance holders with children plan on cancelling their cover in 2013, with one in six (17%) claiming they can no longer afford it.
The report also found that a staggering 87% admit they are worried about falling ill and having to rely on the public health system, while 79% say that they will delay non-emergency medical procedures and going to their GP (86%), to keep costs down.
Mr Clancy said: "The current system is unfair in that the majority of people on more basic plans are cross-subsidising those on the premium top-tier plans with all the frills. This is unjust and is fuelling a record market decline.
"Applying risk equalisation to a core, standard set of benefits would help stabilise the market and address the issue of fairness. We must reform health insurance if it's to survive."
He said that it must be done within the context of reforming the health system as a whole.
Mr Clancy said: "The most fundamental change the Government can make is to start incentivising, not dis-incentivising young, healthier people to take up health insurance. The introduction of lifetime community rating would mean that the younger you enter the private health insurance market, the more affordable it is."