Friday 19 January 2018

Health premiums to rise, warn experts

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

PREMIUMS will increase under the Government's universal healthcare insurance scheme as insurers pass on higher costs to the public, financial experts have warned.

Insurance companies will have to build up capital reserves of between €1.6bn and €2.4bn which will have to be recouped in higher prices to customers, the Society of Actuaries in Ireland said.

The actuaries, who are professionals dealing with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty, delivered a cautionary analysis of the Government's plan – due for introduction in 2019 – in a submission to the Department of Health.

Under the plan, everyone will be insured, with the Government paying for the least well off; around one-third will fund it themselves.

Although Health Minister James Reilly has said the premium will be around €900 a year per person, the actuaries cast doubt on how this will be achieved.

Irish Independent

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