Vhi Healthcare is unhappy with the proposed amendments for 2011 to the levy and age related tax relief system in the private health insurance market.
Jimmy Tolan of Vhi Healthcare says, “The recently announced increases of 21% for private beds within public hospitals and the amendments to the levy has only reduced the prospective annual losses on Vhi’s older customers from €170 million to €147 million. A fully functioning age related tax-relief system would ensure that older members of society are properly supported by the system and are as attractive to insure as younger members of society. The current system has resulted in a health insurance market where older customers represent significant losses for insurers. Currently Vhi Healthcare is facing average losses of €850 on its 129,000 customers over the age of seventy and Vhi will not be able to fund this level of losses in 2011.”
Philip Boyle of WhatClinic.com comments, “Private health insurance in Ireland is subject to a scheme called Risk Equalisation, which effectively means that the young and the healthy pay for the costs associated with the sick and elderly. As people tighten their belts, and the young in particular realise that they don’t really need health insurance until their thirties or forties, the sick and elderly will be left with rapidly increasing premiums and even a possible collapse of the private health insurance system as we know it.”