Vhi Increases Not Affordable for Farm Families – IFA Call for Immediate Introduction of Risk Equalisation Scheme

Margaret Healy, IFA Farm Family + Social Affairs Chairwoman calls on Government to address the escalation in VHI Healthcare fees.

She said that the recently announced increase of up to 45% for VHI Healthcare policyholders will cost farm families a minimum of €40 million extra in health insurance in 2011. Farm families are already struggling to deal with the economic realities in the State and cannot afford the increase.

She called on Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children to delay these increases and bring forward the implementation of the risk equalisation scheme.

Risk equalisation equitably neutralises the differences in insurers’ costs that arise due to variations in the age profile of the insurers. VHI Healthcare has on average 9 times the proportion of members in the over 80 years age group than Aviva Health and Quinn Healthcare.

“The Minister can not longer avoid the issue and must act immediately to protect high-risk older members in the private health market”, stressed Mrs. Healy.

IFA have sought an urgent meeting with Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children calling on her to address the inequity in the health insurance market.

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