Health Insurance Figures Ireland

A recent survey of Health Insurance in Ireland , carried out on behalf of the Health Insurance Authority , produced some interesting statistics.

Ireland is unique among  European countries in that, unlike them, we don’t have universal access to healthcare. This is one of the reasons why health insurance is so popular in Ireland.

A total of  1,891 people were surveyed  in Autumn of 2017 – both with and without private health insurance .

Healt Insurance Coverage

  • 43% of the population of Ireland are covered by Private Health Insurance (PHI)  .

Market Share

  • VHI is the biggest Health Insurance provider – covering  52% of policy holders.
  • Laya has 27% of the PHI market
  • Irish Life Health cover  16% of policyholders

Health Insurance Average Cost

The survey found that the perceived annual cost of a policy has decreased slightly compared to 2015. The average price paid in 2017 was  €1,858 a year compared to €1,925 in 2015. (These aren’t actual prices – just what people told the survey.)
35% of people with insurance said they were paying more than €2000 a year.

Interestingly – the people in the survey who didn’t have health insurance – thought (on average) that the cost of Health Insurance would be €1066 a year.

Switching Health Insurance Provider

73% of people have never switched Health Insurance provider.
(5% said they didn’t know !)
Of the 22% who switched – 54% did it because the new provider was cheaper.

Ending Health Insurance
14% of the people surveyed that didn’t have health insurance – previously had it. Of those that had ceased their PHI – 63% said the main reason was the high prices.

Of the people who don’t have PHI – 86% of them never had a policy – and 52% of those said the main reason was the high cost.

Making Claims on Health Insurance

38% of people with health insurance have never made a claim.

There were plans to bring in Universal Health Insurance –  but that seems to have been forgotten about.


In Ireland –  Private Health Insurers drive many consumers into public hospitals for treatment . This has created inequity for public patients, but also for private patients who are paying twice to receive the same service . The logical conclusion is that if equity is to be achieved within the public health system, maybe the HSE  should stop providing all private health care services and concentrate its services to public health.

Taxes paid for 77% of health expenditure in 2013. Yet in our primarily tax-funded health system, people with private health insurance have quicker access to healthcare compared to fellow taxpayers without insurance.  Is this fair ? We don’t think it is.