20th January 2014
By Elaine Murphy
Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry this morning called for a freeze on health insurance premiums as news broke that the cost of almost 100 health plans are expected to rise on February 1.
Health plan costs were increased by Aviva and Glohealth on January 1 and this morning’s IRISH INDEPENDENT reports that VHI are due to follow suit on Feb 1. Imminent price increases are also expected from Laya.
VHI are due to hike prices by 5% on Feb 1 bringing to 25% the size of price hikes since January 2013. For example, the VHI Teachers Plan is set to rise to a basic 1445 euro per annum from Feb 1 as opposed to a basic 1115 euro as of January 2013.
Cllr Barry said this morning: “At a time when a wage freeze is effectively in operation prices are free to rise and the ordinary household is being hammered by price hikes of this kind. Health insurance premiums should be frozen before this new round of increases is due to kick in in 10 days time. Economic recovery should mean benefits for ordinary householders not just an increase in profits for health insurers and the like.”