Gopal Vijayaraghavan

102 people signed up for health insurance EVERY HOUR in April

With the 30 April looming, Irish people bit the bullet en masse and signed on the dotted line.

IT SEEMS THAT last month’s health insurance deadline had its desired effect with 74,000 people availing of health insurance in the month before 1 May.

The introduction of the Lifetime Community Rating from that date will see anyone aged over-35 who didn’t take out insurance penalised at a cost of 2% of their premium for every year they remain insurance-free after the deadline.

The rating is a measure brought in by the department of health to try  and curb rising premiums in the industry, and with 2,500 people signing up every day in April it’s probably safe to say that it worked.

Last month Ireland’s four main health insurance providers had seen up to an 800% increase in traffic as people scrambled to sign up and avoid the looming penalties.

INMO Annual Conference. Minister for Hea Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

“The six year trend of health insurance cover has been reversed,” health minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement.

Health insurance needs to be made more affordable before we consider how it could be made universal.
The increase in the number of people holding health insurance is extremely welcome as it helps to control premium inflation and  keep health insurance affordable for all.

The number of people who now hold health insurance in Ireland is 2.1 million, or roughly 46% of the population.

Read: Here’s what you need to know about the health insurance changes

Read: What you need to say to get a MUCH cheaper deal on your health insurance

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