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Insurance levy plea

NEW Irish health insurer GloHealth has urged the Government not to increase the cost of the health insurance levy.

The levy has increased by almost 80pc in three years and today stands at €285 for an adult and €95 for a child.

In many cases the levy accounts for over 40pc of the cost of health insurance, according to GloHealth.

Jim Dowdall, GloHealth's chief executive, told the Oireachtas Health Committee that the levy was a "stealth tax".

"In recent years it has driven a vicious circle of rising premiums, leading to over 174,000 people leaving the market, which then results in more premium increases for those remaining," he said.

"Any further increases in the levy will compound this."