Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Health

Legislative Measures

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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326. To ask the Minister for Health if he has considered amending health insurance legislation to encourage more insurers into the support of preventative health measures and improved management of continuing health vulnerabilities among their members; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13555/24]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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In Ireland private health insurance is focused on inpatient coverage and operates under four key principles – community rating, open enrolment, lifetime cover and minimum benefits.

In a community rated voluntary private health insurance market, everyone pays the same price for a particular health insurance policy. This is long established government policy and ensures that health insurance policies are affordable and available to consumers.

The Health Insurance Act, 1994 (Minimum Benefit) Regulations 1996, requires insurers to offer a minimum benefit to in every insurance policy. The key purpose of the Regulations is to ensure the continued availability of the type of broad hospital cover traditionally held as a minimum by the insured population and to ensure that individuals do not significantly under insure. This approach is designed to be equitable and fair, by ensuring that all consumers obtain an appropriate minimum level of health insurance cover regardless of what plan they purchase.

Services and products provided outside of minimum benefits, are provided on the basis of commercial decisions made by Private Health Insurers. The Minister for Health does not have a role in the commercial decision making of any private health insurer.


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