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Health Insurance Authority to increase its board membership

The Health Insurance Authority (HIA) is in the process of recruiting extra directors to its board, this newspaper has learned.

The issue was discussed at the November meeting of the HIA board, minutes of which have been seen by the Medical Independent (MI)  following a Freedom of Information request.

The minutes noted that the HIA would discuss the required skill set for new members.

A HIA spokesperson told this newspaper that this recruitment process is ongoing.

“It is proposed the board be increased from five to seven members to bring additional insight, skills and balance to the HIA board and the process of recruiting new directors is ongoing,” the spokesperson said.

Separately, the spokesperson added that the Authority had not finalised its advertising campaigns for this year.

“Consistent with the HIA’s objective of providing information to consumers, the HIA engaged in advertising campaigns during 2018 that primarily focused on encouraging policy holders to actively review their current health insurance before renewing and providing the consumers with necessary information in relation to private health insurance to ensure that they make an informed decision,” the spokesperson told  MI.

“The HIA actively reviews advertising campaigns with its service providers that would benefit information regarding the private health insurance market to consumers. Expenditure on the public information campaigns will be published in the forthcoming annual report for 2018. No campaigns have been finalised for 2019.”

In 2017, the HIA spent €537,049 on advertising, and €266,700 in 2016. The Authority will disclose its total advertising spend for 2018 when it publishes its annual report and accounts in July 2019.

Last November MI reported that the Authority said it would be engaging in “two advertising campaigns from November 2018 to January 2019” and that the budget for these campaigns was “circa €600,000 in total”.

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