Health Insurance in Ireland Market Report 2023

Understanding the shifts and trends in health insurance in Ireland becomes crucial, especially for us here at the Private Hospitals Association (PHA). The Health Insurance Authority’s (HIA) 2023 Market Report has just been released, offering a wealth of data and insights into the health insurance landscape. Here’s a brief synopsis to keep you informed.

Coverage Grows, But More Slowly
The report reveals that 2.48 million people in Ireland now have health insurance, a slight increase of 1.6% from the previous year. However, the growth rate has decelerated, hinting at the challenges of rising premiums and the overall cost of living affecting people’s ability to afford health insurance. The age group 18-39 remains the least covered, highlighting a potential gap that needs addressing.

Plan Popularity: A Narrow Focus
Interestingly, despite the availability of 350 health insurance plans, 50% of policyholders are concentrated in just 30 plans. This year saw the introduction of 23 new plans, yet consumer preferences seem to lean towards specific features or price points, particularly plans with restricted orthopaedic coverage, which now includes 66% of insured individuals.

Rising Premiums: A Concerning Trend
A key takeaway from the report is the significant rise in health insurance premiums, which increased by an average of 10% in 2023. This hike is felt more acutely by the older population, with those over 65 paying on average 43% more than their younger counterparts. This trend underscores the need for continuous dialogue on making health insurance more affordable and accessible.

The Role of Regulation
The HIA’s report also highlights the regulatory framework underpinning the health insurance market in Ireland, emphasizing the principles of community rating, open enrolment, lifetime cover, and minimum benefits. These regulations ensure the market remains accessible and fair.

Looking Forward
This  report paints a picture of a health insurance market in flux, facing challenges but also presenting opportunities for innovation and improvement. As stakeholders in the health sector, it’s crucial for us at the PHA to understand these trends and advocate for a system that serves the needs of all Irish residents effectively.

For a deeper dive into the 2023 Health Insurance Market Report, you can access the full report here: