Written answers

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Department of Health

Health Insurance Prices

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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392. To ask the Minister for Health with regard to the two McLoughlin reports on private health insurance, if he will indicate the recommendations contained in those reports that he and his Department have accepted and are implementing; the recommendations that are not being implemented and the reason they are not being progressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43106/14]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Review of Measures to Reduce Costs in the Private Health Insurance Market Phase 1 report was published in December 2013, and the Phase 2 report was published recently. I welcome both reports and will address each of the recommendations systematically.

Last week I announced a package of measures to address rising private health insurance premiums which are closely aligned to the recommendations made by Mr. McLoughlin. These measures include the introduction of Lifetime Community Rating from May 2015 and the provision for young adult rates in the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2014, which will be before the Houses of the Oireachtas this week.

I have accepted the recommendations relating to the implementation of a case-based charging system using Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) for private patients in public hospitals under Money Follows the Patient, and the establishment of a steering group to build on the reforms underway in the area of the prevention of Chronic Disease, which will focus on the provision of an integrated model of care for patients with chronic conditions.

Other recommendations being implemented include an increased focus by private health insurers on combatting fraud in the private health insurance market and the establishment of a working group with the HSE and the health insurers on the recommendations relating to claims processing.

Mr. McLoughlin's independent reports make a number of important recommendations under the headings of Controlling Costs, Care Settings and Resources, Age Structure, Clinical Audit and Utilisation Management, Private Psychiatry, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Chronic Disease Management, Claims Processing, and Admission and Discharge Processes. I have instructed my Department to pursue these, in conjunction with the private health insurers and the HSE as appropriate.

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