Health insurance premiums look set to decrease as a result of the Health Insurance Authority’s recommendation of a one-off cut to the health insurance levy paid by insurers.
The HIA has proposed to the Minister for Health that 10% or €45 be taken off the levy on advanced products and 22% or €35 should be cut from non-advanced products.
The authority said the expectation is that this cut would be passed on directly to consumers and has urged policy holders to renew soon.
The annual levy is used to fund the Risk Equalisation Fund, which in turn is used to support the community rating principle where everyone, regardless of their health status and other risk factors, can buy the same health insurance policy at the same price
The proposal to reduce the levy is being made because lower claims during the Covid pandemic has led to the emergence of a surplus in the Risk Equalisation Fund.
“This once off reduction to the levy has been done with the expectation that insurers will pass the saving onto their customers when they renew, so that consumers get the benefit of the surplus in the fund,” said Laura Brien, chief executive of the HIA.
The HIA estimates that the cut will lead to a 6% cut in the average non-advanced policy premium and a 3% reduction in the average cost of an advanced policy.
The authority offers a comparison tool on its website, where consumers can compare the costs of different policies.