Laya Healthcare is to increase its insurance prices by an average of 2.3% from June.

The health insurer, which is owned by AIG, said the change would be roughly equivalent to a €33 price increase for its customers.

Laya said it had seen the volume and cost of claims rising in recent months, with medical prices rising far faster than general inflation.

It is the second time this year that Laya has announced a price rise, following a change in January that saw some plans' pricing rise by an average of 2.9%.

"Despite the disruption in access to hospitals caused by Covid-19, the volume and cost of claims in Ireland's private and hi-tech hospitals continue to rise with activity levels bouncing back exceptionally quickly after a brief takeover by the State last year," said Laya's managing director Dónal Clancy.

"Medical inflation in Ireland is running at about six times the cost of general inflation, so a price review is necessary in order to ensure that we can meet the current and future healthcare needs of our members including improving access to new technologies, drugs and procedures that will deliver better medical outcomes."

Reacting to the announcement, Dermot Goode of Totalhealthcover.ie advised Laya customers to check how the change would impact them, as the average rate announced could mask more significant increases on specific plans.

He said a family of two adults and two children would face a 5%, or €134, price rise if they were on Laya's Inspire plan, while those on its Simply Connect Plus scheme would see a 4$, or €152, increase.

Alongside the price rise, the insurer also announced some new benefits that would be added to some schemes.

They include cover for home tests for a range of conditions, including cholesterol and prostate cancer, while more members will have access to the likes of maternity and fertility benefits as well as counselling.