The Health Insurance Authority has urged consumers to check that their policy provides the cover they need as well as value for money.

It comes ahead of a busy period of renewals in the health insurance market, with around half of all insured consumers, or a million people, set to renew policies between now and March.

While about 250,000 policy holders currently have plans that will be retired when they next renew, requiring them to find new cover.

"During 2021, 25 plans were retired from the market and there are still almost 250,000 people on these plans," said Laura Brien, CEO of the HIA.

"When it comes to their next renewal date, they will have to choose a new plan."

The HIA said on average prices rose by 4% this year and for this reason consumers should be aware of what it is they are signing up to for another year.

The authority has said consumers can use its website as an independent and trusted source of information when trying to navigate the renewal process.

"It is important that consumers make informed choices and we want them to know that the HIA is here to offer support and advice," said Ms Brien.

"Health insurance can seem daunting when it comes to reviewing your policy, but it is really important that we let consumers know that there is a dedicated and impartial source of expert advice here to help them through that process."

The comments came as the HIA launched a campaign to inform consumers about how and where to get the best information on renewing their policies.