Press Release

Varadkar urges people to avail of remaining days before health insurance deadline

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has urged people interested in taking out health insurance to take advantage of the more than two days remaining before Lifetime Community Rating comes into effect this Thursday at midnight.  He confirmed that there will be no extension of the deadline.

“There are still at least two full days left for people to take out health insurance before the Lifetime Community Rating comes into effect. This is an essential measure to protect our system of community rating whereby everyone pays the same premium for the same policy regardless of their age or their health status.

“Lifetime community rating will help to ensure that older and the sicker citizens can still afford health insurance because the healthy and young who do not make as many claims still pay into the system. It will also help to stabilise the market by encouraging people to retain health insurance once they have it.

“This is another major reform on the road to universal health care. Other measures include the fact that the Fair Deal Scheme for long term care is now demand-led and access to GPs without fees is being extended to the oldest and the youngest in society who need to see their doctor most often.

“We are also putting more resources into primary care including chronic disease management, starting with an asthma programme for children and a diabetes programmes for adults.

“Health insurance gives people access to a wider range of hospitals and consultants, and in some cases cash back on their GPs, dentists, therapists and medical investigations. It’s about achieving universal healthcare by raising everyone to the same level.

“Insurers have confirmed high levels of internet traffic and telephone contact from people as the grace period draws to a close and the insurance companies are confident that they have geared up to deal with the increased level of enquiries with phone lines remaining open late each night.”