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The Bill aims to maintain the principle that health insurance policies should be an affordable price for all citizens, young or old, sick or healthy.
“While the numbers of persons with health insurance continues to grow, affordability remains a key consideration for people when taking out a policy,” said Minister Harris.
“With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that there will be no increase in the stamp duty on health insurance contracts next year.”
The stamp duties on each health insurance contract are not directed to the Government. They are collected and redistributed in the form of credits, to compensate for the additional cost of insuring older and less healthy people.
This year’s Bill also provides for strengthened governance of the independent health insurance regulator.
The Minister said: “I’m also pleased to announce that the Board of the Health Insurance Authority will expand, ensuring greater oversight and regulation of the health insurance market, in this ever-changing and complex environment.”
The Bill is expected to be enacted by the Oireachtas before the end of this year.
Commenting on other developments in the private health insurance market, the Minister said: “As of this month, I am delighted to announce that Irish people who were living abroad and return to Ireland will no longer have to pay loadings on their health insurance policies once they purchase insurance within nine months of returning to Ireland.
“And similarly, this same principle will apply to members of our Permanent Defence Force who have ceased to be members. These changes will ensure a fairer approach is applied to all citizens who make the decision to buy health insurance here in Ireland.”