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45% of people have private health insurance

That is according to the Health Insurance Authority’s (HIA) 2017 Annual Report published today.

The report also found that the average amount paid for a health insurance premium for in-patient cover in 2017 was €1,220 compared to €1,177 in 2016.

This represents an increase of 3.7 per cent, compared to 0.3 per cent in 2016.

The number of products available reduced from 373 to 328, which according to the HIA can be largely attributed to the acquisition by Irish Life Health of GloHealth in February 2017.

VHI Healthcare’s market share was 50 per cent, while Laya Healthcare has 26 per cent market, share and Irish Life Health had 20 per cent.

“The private health insurance market has continued its consistent growth, with the market experiencing its third straight year of increase in in the number of people insured,” said Health Insurance Authority CEO, Mr Don Gallagher.

“Reduction in net emigration, growth in employment, introduction of young adult rates, and lifetime community rating, have all contributed to the increase in the insured population, which now stands at 2.17m – representing 45 per cent of the population.

“Furthermore, a more buoyant economy and increased disposable incomes, have also undoubtedly helped facilitate the year- on-year increase in the total number insured on in-patient plans.

“The private health insurance remains a dynamic market, with insurers competing and introducing new products at a range of price levels and cover options. Therefore, it is important to reiterate that there is value in the consumer actively checking their cover and to be prepared to switch insurers to get cover at the right price.”

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