Tuesday, June 03 15:06:34
The first three months of this year saw 21,000 drop their inpatient health insurance as premium prices soared and households continued to see pressure on incomes.
Latest figures from the Health Insurance Authority show that there are now just over 2 million people with inpatient cover, compared with almost 2.3 million people when the market peaked at the end of 2008.
Rising premiums and the recession have been the main factors in people giving up inpatient private health insurance.
Since the end of 2008, the number of people with cover has been reducing, year on year.
Last year the four main insurers paid out E1.7bn in claims, a drop of 4pc.
The average claim for each insured person last year was just over E1,000, a decrease of 2pc on the previous year.