More health insurance price cuts have been announced. Irish Life Health said it will reduce the premiums on 15 of its non-advanced plans, with effect from the start of next month.

The move is in response to a Government decision to lower the levy on basic policies.

The non-advanced plans cover the cost of treatment in a public hospital only, with no access to private medical treatment.

Average price reductions would be €45 on the adult gross rate and €15 for the child gross rate on selected plans, Irish Life Health said.

At the end of last year, Health Minister Simon Harris secured agreement from Cabinet to decrease the State levy payable on non-advanced plans favoured by young people. The Government is trying to encourage more young people to take out health cover, as they effectively subsidise older people because they make fewer claims.

A levy is imposed on all health insurers to ensure no one pays more than anyone else for the same level of cover, irrespective of age and health status.

Irish Life said the latest move followed the reduction in the levy being applied to five non- advanced plans from this month, including the Select Starter and Kick Off plans.

An Irish Life Health spokesperson said it was committed to providing the best value for money for its customers.

Before Christmas, Vhi Healthcare kicked off a price war by announcing reductions in premium rates. This prompted both Laya and Irish Life to respond with lower prices.

Meanwhile, Irish Life Health is reversing some price increases it introduced from the start of January which will see a number of popular corporate plans reduce in price from the start of this month.

This will see the Health Plan 16.1 reduce by 11pc, as will other plans such as Be Fit 2 and Health Plan 13. Irish Life is also continuing its discounted child pricing on Select Plus and Nurture.

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