There was a surge in demand for private healthcare following the pandemic, VHI has said.
In 2019, the insurance paid out €66.5 in claims for private psychiatric treatment and in 2022 that figure rose to €73.6 million - a 15% increase in three years.
Vhi Health and Wellbeing Managing Director Anne O’Connor said the figures were not a surprise.
“This isn’t dissimilar from what’s been seen across the rest of the health system, really,” she said.
“But a 15% increase in the claims that we’ve paid out for private psychiatric care in 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic period of 2019 [is significant].
“We’ve also seen a significant increase in the demand for services from people under 30.”
Whereas overall claims rose by 15% across the general population, among those under 30 the increase was 28%.
Within that cohort, 27% accessed their care digitally through mediums such as Teams, WhatsApp or Zoom.
Furthermore, nearly two-in-three claims, 63%, of claims were paid out to women.
“I think it’s interesting for us to look at the very high demand that’s coming through also for digital supports for people who are at a young age,” Ms O’Connor said.
“Equally, the fact that we are seeing more women than men seeking and, again, I don’t think that’s uncommon”.
In August, Vhi increased its prices, citing the impact of the pandemic of the provision of healthcare.
Main image: A patient and doctor.