NewsPeople Power Campaign Seeks 25,000 Consumers To Help Bring More Affordable Health Insurance To Ireland
People Power Campaign Seeks 25,000 Consumers To Help Bring More Affordable Health Insurance To Ireland

People Power Campaign Seeks 25,000 Consumers To Help Bring More Affordable Health Insurance To Ireland

One Big Switch has today launched the Big Health Insurance Switch, a campaign to help unlock more affordable health insurance offers in Ireland.

This campaign is seeking 25,000 Irish consumers willing to join a campaign to help address the health insurance affordability crisis in Ireland.

The campaign aims to convince at least one health insurer to release more affordable products. Experience shows that other providers will be forced to follow.

The campaign will work in 3 simple steps:

  1. Consumers register their interest at
  2. One Big Switch uses the people power of the 25,000+ consumers
    to unlock more affordable health insurance offers.
  3. Consumers who join the campaign decide if the offer is right for them.

The campaign is needed because health Insurance premiums have risen by 58% over the past 6 years, forcing over 250,000 consumers to drop out of the market.

The campaign is also being launched now to help boost competitiveness in the Irish health insurance market in the lead up to the policy changes due in May 2015.

The health insurance affordability crisis in Ireland is driven by rapidly rising prices, putting financial pressure on families who choose to stay in, and driving many families out of the system altogether. This campaign aims to help both groups.

Convincing the lost 250K to return to the market is a key part of protecting the sustainability of the public/private hybrid Irish health system over the long term.

One Big Switch Director of Campaigns, Sarah Ryan said today, “Irish households are fed up with health insurance costs spiraling up and up. Consumers have to take matters in to their own hands, to take real action to help tackle the crisis. This campaign is a chance for mums and dads to stop complaining and start acting.”

One Big Switch completed the Big Energy Switch in Ireland in early 2014. 60,000 households joined the campaign an unlocked a market beating electricity offer.

For more private health insurance facts, see Appendix A attached.

Campaign registration is entirely free, and obligation-free, at Registration closes midnight on the 31 of October.


  1. 1.     The price of Health Insurance is rising rapidly.


The average health insurance premium paid in 2013 was €1,150[1], which represents a 58% rise since 2008 when it was just €729.[2]


  1. 2.     The proportion of Irish consumers taking up private health insurance is quickly declining.

    After growing for many years, the number insured in the health insurance market peaked at 2.3m (50.9% of the population) at the end of 2008. This has now fallen in the since then with 2.05m people insured, at end 2013 (45% of the population).[3]


  2. 3.     A decrease of young people taking up health insurance is affecting community rating, driving up prices for older consumers.


The fall in demand for health insurance has been disproportionately manifested in demand from younger adults. Between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013, the number of adults between the ages of 18 and 50 with health insurance fell by 200,000 (-20%), while the number of adults over 50 with health insurance rose by 36,000 (+6%).




The Big Energy Switch was Ireland’s biggest ever consumer campaign, with 64,000+ registrants, the campaign created unprecedented people power. Tens of thousands switched to the exclusive One Big Switch offer or saved on soaring electricity bills as a result of upgrading their offer or shopping around.


“CONGRATULATIONS to those behind the One Big Switch campaign, who have now secured an average saving of more than €200 a year in their electricity bill for the 45,000 householders who have signed up. It shows what can be done if ordinary consumers pool their purchasing power and apply that leverage to their utility bills in the way that big businesses have been doing for years.”
- Irish Daily Mail 25 March 2014


“The first signs of a price war came on Monday as Bord Gais confirmed it would offer the people who had signed up with One Big Switch a 10pc discount on their electricity supplies and €80 cash-back if they stick with the semi-state for a year.”
–Irish Independent, 29 March 2014


“Energy expert Simon Moynihan of price comparison site welcomed the fact that the One Big Switch campaign had sparked an energy price war.”

 –Irish Independent, 2 April 2014






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