VHI increase will cost farm families €40million

IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairwoman Margaret Healy has called on the Government to address the escalation in VHI Healthcare fees.

IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairwoman Margaret Healy has called on the Government to address the escalation in VHI Healthcare fees.

Ms Healy stated that recently announced increase of up to 45% for VHI Healthcare policyholders will cost farm families a minimum of n40 million extra in health insurance in 2011. They are already struggling to deal with difficult economic realities 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 number 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.