On 13 July 2010 the Authority published a Consultation Paper on Minimum Benefit Regulations in the Irish Private Health Insurance Market.
Given the complex and specialist nature of private health insurance products, in the absence of regulation there is a risk that consumers could be sold policies that do not provide a sufficiently comprehensive level of cover. The Health Insurance Act, 1994 made provision for the Minister to issue regulations specifying the minimum level of cover that an in-patient health insurance contract must include. Minimum benefit regulations are set out in the following legislation:
Health Insurance Act, 1994 (Minimum Benefit) Regulations, 1996 [Statutory Instrument No. 83 of 1996] and can be found at www.irishstatutebook.ie.
In the White Paper on Private Health Insurance in 1999, the Government indicated its intention to make a number of changes to the Minimum Benefit regulations.
In October 2003, the Authority issued a Consultation Paper on Minimum Benefits to stakeholders and interested parties. After considering the responses to the consultation paper, the Authority gave a submission to the Department of Health and Children.
In the interests of transparency the Authority decided to publish the responses received in relation to the consultation paper, which were provided by the following: