The number of people with private health insurance in Ireland increased to 2.17 million, or 45% of the population, on December 31, 2017, according to the Health Insurance Authority 2017 report, published in August.
This represented a year-on-year increase of 22,000 people. The insurance companies received a total of €2.66 billion in members’ premia, compared to €2.53 billion in 2016.
Over €668m was redistributed under the Risk Equalisation Scheme on 2017, up from €619m in 2016.
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%, compared to 0.3% in 2016 on the previous year.
The average of claims paid per insured person decreased by 1% in 2017, following a 1% increase in 2016 and 6.5% decline in 2015.
The number of products available reduced from 373 to 328, which can be largely attributed to the acquisition by Irish Life Health of GloHealth in February 2017.
VHI Healthcare’s market share was 50%, while Laya Healthcare had 26% market, share and Irish Life Health had 20%.
The HIA also published its biannual consumer research survey of a sample of the adult population on the health insurance market. This revealed that well over half (58%) of survey respondents considered health insurance a necessity rather than a luxury.