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There was a 29 per cent drop in private health insurance claims during the current pandemic, new figures from the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) show.
46.4 per cent of the Irish population now have private health insurance according to the new figures.
In the 12 months from April 2020 to March 2021, almost 38,000 additional people took out a private health insurance policy. This represents a 1.6 per cent increase compared to the previous 12 months.
However, due to the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall level of claims submitted to the HIA declined by 29 per cent in the same period.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was clearly visible on the market with a steep reduction in claims,” said Ms Laura Brien, Chief Executive of the HIA.
“However, we see some elements beginning to return to normal again as, the number of day-case treatments has almost rebounded to pre-Covid levels in the first quarter of this year.
“The monthly average claims in the three months to March 2021 was approximately 48,000 per month. This compared to a monthly average of approximately 52,000 in the three months to March 2020.
“In contrast, the number of claims relating to nights spent in hospital remain below their pre-Covid level.”