- Posted by irishhealthinsurance
- On May 24, 2012
The article below appeared in yesterday morning’s Metro Herald News which is widely circulated along the Dublin commuter routes (Luas, Dart & Buses). Appearing on the Consumer Corner on page 17, the article claimed that a new fourth Irish health insurer, backed by Irish Life is set to significantly undercut rivals VHI, Aviva Health & Quinn-Healthcare by offering cheaper premiums.
On the face of it, a reasonable claim, however consider that Laya Healthcare had its official launch in the RDS hosted by Claire Byrne as recently as the 14th of May and simultaneously in their offices in Cork and that this was followed up with one of the most high profile advertising campaigns in the State this year and you have to question the quality of journalism that hasn’t figured out that the ‘new health insurer’ has operated in the State since 2007 as Quinn-Healthcare and has approximately 450,000 customers, all of who will have received notification that the business is now underwritten by Elips Insurance and not Irish Life.
Anyone with half an interest in current affairs will have been aware of this for some time but for a journalist to write it and for an editor to allow it to go to print is unforgivable.
We have for a long time asked the public not to take advice from journalists and price watch gurus when considering health insurance. Good advice is worth paying for and bad advice from regulated entities leaves you with some come back. Bad advice from price watch gurus leave you exposed. However this level of ignorance illustrates my point to a higher degree than ever before.
Indeed there are rumours of a fourth health insurer entering the market this year and the rumour also suggests that they may have Irish Life as a backer. However this is another insurer, not Quinn or Laya!
We trust that the article above serves as the ultimate example of why professional navigation in this market is crucial. If journalists can’t understand it, what hope has the ordinary consumer?
For the record I have detailed the providence of each insurer below:
1957 VHI established
1996 Bupa Ireland enters the market
2004 Vivas Health enters the market
2007 Bupa pulls out of the Irish Market and Quinn Group take over the book of business – Quinn-Healthcare established.
2008 Hibernian buy Vivas Health – Hibernian Health is established
2009 Hibernian bought by Aviva and becomes Hibernian Aviva Health – rebrand not sale
2010 Hibernian Aviva Health becomes simply Aviva Health
2011 Quinn-Healthcare is bought out by current management team and backed by international Re Insurance giant Swiss Re with policies underwritten by Elips Insurance.
2012 Quinn Healthcare rebrand as Laya Healthcare.
2012 Unnamed fourth Health Insurance rumoured as set to enter the market. Also rumoured to be backed by Irish Life.