The issue was discussed at the Authority’s Board meeting in February, minutes of which have been seen by the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>) following a Freedom of Information request.
The Authority maintains a website that provides information to consumers in line with its consumer information functions. The website also includes a plan comparison facility, which allows consumers to choose the most appropriate plans for their circumstances and compare the benefits and prices of side-by-side.
In 2017, the HIA began a review into the functionality and consumer experience of its website.
“The review found that, in addition to requiring an update to the software and code form dating technology, changes to how some information is presented, especially in relation to product comparisons, could aid consumers in identifying the most appropriate and economical health insurance policies for themselves,” a spokesperson for the HIA told <strong><em>MI</em></strong>.
“These proposed changes have been initiated and expected implementation is scheduled during the second half of 2018.”
Dept Digital Ltd (formerly Webfactory) won an open tendering process to provide website development and maintenance services to the HIA.
“Dept Digital have been engaged to undertake this project of website development, database design, database development, administration system design and the development of user interface and maintenance services. The HIA has agreed a budget of circa €180,000 (excl VAT).”
Meanwhile, the HIA has renegotiated the annual rent on its headquarters. “The HIA entered a 10-year lease for the offices at Canal House [Canal Road, Dublin 6] in May 2012,” said the HIA’s spokesperson.
“This agreement contained a rent review after the first five years. The result of this rent review was a renegotiated annual rent cost of €68,000 per annum.”
The HIA was previously renting the offices at €50,000 per annum.