The Irish private health insurance regulatory system is based on the key principles of community rating, open enrolment, lifetime cover and minimum benefits. Under this system, prior to 1 May 2015, everybody was charged the same premium for a particular plan, irrespective of age, gender and current or likely future state of health (with certain exceptions). From that date, however, the introduction of Lifetime Community Rating regulations have meant that people aged 35 and upwards taking out health insurance for the first time have been charged a late entry loading of 2% of the gross premium for each year in age over 34. This means that a 50-year-old who has held private health insurance since they were aged 30 pays the same premium as a 30-year-old but a 50 year old who purchases private health insurance for the first time at age 50 pays more than a 30-year-old.
The Health Insurance Authority is a statutory regulator for the Irish private health insurance market. The Minister for Health has requested that a review of the Lifetime Community Rating regulations be carried out by the Health Insurance Authority. As a result, the Health Insurance Authority has recently published a consultation paper and invites submissions from stakeholders and interested parties.
Go to http://www.hia.ie/publication/consultation-papers for more information.
The closing date for receipt of submissions is 3rd March 2017.