Over 35s who buy health insurance for the first time must pay load on premium
People over the age of 35 who buy health insurance for the first time are to have a loading imposed on their premiums, Health Minister James Reilly has announced.
There will be a grace period of nine months, to next May, to allow new entrants to the health insurance market to join without any penalties.
But after that people will face penalties of 2pc a year for every year they are over the age of 35.
This will mean a 40-year-old who takes out a €1,000 health policy for the first time after May faces a €120 loading if they join after next May.
The move is known as lifetime community rating and is an attempt by Health Minister to encourage more young people to join the market.
Younger people make fewer claims than older people.
Minster Reilly said it was unfair that someone could take out a health policy for the first time at the age of 55 and pay the same as someone who has been paying into a scheme for 30 years.