TotalHealthCover.ie are urging health insurance members to review their policy carefully before renewing cover.
The advice comes of the back of a number of benefit changes introduced by some health insurers, which mean members will not be covered or will have less cover for certain procedures.
This comes after Laya have recently introduced co-payments or shortfalls on 3 of their popular plans for certain major orthopaedic and ophthalmic procedures when carried out in private hospitals. Also, VHI are retiring some of their older plans as well which will affect some of their members.
Laya Healthcare is the latest to announce such a change to their popular 360 Care ‘private room’ corporate plans (360 Care & 360 Care Select). Up until 30th June, these plans covered the full cost of major orthopaedic and ophthalmic procedures in private hospitals but from 1st July onwards, they are introducing a 20% shortfall for these procedures which is a significant change to the cover and which TotalHealthCover.ie say could leave members with a shortfall of up to €3,000 for the likes of a hip or knee replacement.
TotalHealthCover.ie are predicting claims to increase as consumers return for both essential and elective medical treatment, but health insurance membership may fall especially amongst younger members and these factors directly impact on health insurer pricing.
Speaking today, Health Insurance Consultant with TotalHealthCover.ie, Dermot Goode said, "When many members receive their renewal notices, they don’t always review the documents sufficiently to appreciate any reduction in cover. This is a particularly important issue for older members, who may have opted for these plans specifically to have this ‘full cover’ in place. It’s important to note that VHI and Irish Life Health have similar shortfalls already on many of their corporate plans. Members of these Laya plans should seek independent advice before renewing for another year as there are a number of alternative schemes where members can retain this cover."
He added, "Whenever an insurer retires a plan and replaces it with a more expensive option which is the case with VHI, members should never automatically transfer to the new scheme without checking out all the alternatives. There are numerous alternatives costing from €1,550 - €2,400 per adult that should be considered first."