Dramatic increase in numbers of young people taking out health insurance before deadline

Laya healthcare reports dramatic increase in numbers of young people taking out health insurance before deadline

Insurer to extend opening hours to accommodate increase in enquiries

Monday, 27th April 2015: With only days left until the April 30th deadline, research by laya healthcare has revealed that one in four people (26%) without health insurance are still undecided about whether they will purchase cover before Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) comes into effect.

The research has also shown that there has been a significant jump in awareness levels of Lifetime Community Rating, the new Government initiative aimed at encouraging more young people into the market. The number of people who have heard about Lifetime Community Rating has more than doubled from just 20% in February to 43% in April.

Research carried out by laya healthcare in February also found that a worryingly low 4% of those aged over 30 understood Lifetime Community Rating and the impact it would have on the cost of their health cover; that figure now stands at 32%, a significant improvement ahead of the April 30th deadline. In February, laya healthcare embarked upon an extensive education campaign in an effort to inform people of LCR and its implications, particularly for those without cover who will be aged over 34 after April 30th.  The informative and easy to use website www.lcr.ie features practical advice, informative videos and step-by-step instructions on how to assess the potential impact of Lifetime Community Rating.

The message seems to have been getting across to people as laya healthcare has seen a four-fold increase in the number of enquiries from people who are new to the market compared with the same period in 2014*. There has also been a large surge in the number of people taking out health insurance with laya healthcare. New to market sales have over doubled in the last six weeks compared to the same time period last year, with over 50% of these sales in the 30-59 age bracket. Online sales have also increased significantly over the last six weeks with an almost four-fold jump in new members.

Dónal Clancy, Managing Director at laya healthcare commented: “With just days to go until the Lifetime Community Rating deadline, we’re expecting to see further increases in the number of people getting in touch. We will be extending our opening hours until 10pm from tonight until Thursday April 30th. Alternatively people can go to www.layahealthcare.ie 24 hours a day and join on-line.

“A quarter of all people are still undecided about whether they will take up private medical insurance before the Lifetime Community Rating Deadline, we will stay open late all this week to ensure anyone with questions will be able to talk to one of our Customer Care team about LCR and our range of products,” he said.

He added: “The introduction of Lifetime Community Rating is critical for the future stability of the private health insurance market. It will ensure that health insurance remains affordable and fair for all by attracting younger and healthier people into the market. Cost is still a major factor for younger people so we now have competitive schemes available to make the market accessible to all.”

Anyone interested in taking out private health insurance for the first time can contact laya healthcare’s Customer Care team at 1890 904 067 from 8am until 10pm every day this week or go online to www.layahealthcare.ie.

ENDS.

Research was carried out among 1,000 people across Ireland aged between 18 – 60+ years of age by Amárach Research on behalf of laya healthcare. The research was conducted in April 2015 and is a national representative survey. Research carried in February 2015 was conducted by Ignite Research and sampled 1,000 people across Ireland aged over 30 years of age on behalf of laya healthcare


*6 week period from 2nd March to 13th April 2015