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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Department of Health to increase cost of health insurance policies

The stamp duty for health insurance products providing ‘advanced’ cover will increase from €350 to €399 per adult and from €120 to €135 per child from 1 March

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

STAMP DUTY ON the more expensive health insurance policies are to be increased from next March it was announced this evening by the Department of Health.

The stamp duty for health insurance products providing ‘advanced’ cover will increase from €350 to €399 per adult and from €120 to €135 per child according to Minister for Health James Reilly.

There is no change to the stamp duty payable on lower cost ‘non-advanced’ health insurance.

The cost increases are part of changes to risk equalisation credits in the private health insurance market.

Risk equalisation is a process that aims to cover differences in costs to health insurers that arise due to variations in the health status of policy holders.

Minister Reilly said the the increased duty was necessary to maintain costs at the current level for vulnerable patients.”Given the cost pressures many households face, I was very reluctant to recommend increases on stamp duties at all, even for products providing ‘advanced’ cover, ” he said.

However, my priority is to direct support where it is most needed and these revised risk equalisation credits will subsidise health insurance for our most vulnerable patients.

The Department of Health has also said that it is to receive an independent report the Consultative Forum on Private Health Insurance which will make recommendations on addressing high costs in the industry.

Read: Reilly: “Everyone will have free GP care by 2016″, IMO: “There’s no hope of that” >

Read: HSE to introduce targeted redundancy scheme in January >

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