Lifetime Community Rating
The current system in Ireland is called single rate community rating, where a person’s age at entry does not determine the level of premium that they pay. There is provision in the legislation for the introduction of lifetime community rating but it has not so far been introduced. The Minister for Health and Children circulated a draft regulation to the insurers for consultation.
Under the proposed system, an insurer may increase the premium for those that take out insurance for the first time later on in life. This is called a late entry loading. Under this system a 60 year old who took out insurance when they were 25 will pay the same premium as a 25 year old, but a 60 year old who takes out insurance for the first time may be charged more.
It is proposed that the late entry loadings will not apply to people who have health insurance cover when this regulation comes into effect.
Consultation Process on Lifetime Community Rating
In formulating its views and recommendations to the Minister for Health and Children on the introduction of lifetime community rating, the Authority issued a Consultation Paper on Lifetime Community Rating in August 2002 to stakeholders in the private health insurance industry and other interested parties. The consultation process focused on a number of issues identified by the Authority as being relevant to a move from the current system of single rate community rating to a system of lifetime community rating. At the conclusion of this process, the Authority issued a Submission to the Department of Health and Children in October 2002, setting out its views on these and other key issues.
In the interests of transparency the Authority also decided to publish the responses received in relation to the consultation paper, which were provided by the following;