Gilmore puzzled by rising cost of health insurance

FF call for reversal of cap of tax relief

“It could be perceived that this Government is in cahoots with insurers in efforts to drive as many families as possible out of the health insurance market,’’ Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher said. “More than 6,000 people a month are giving up private health insurance.’’

“It could be perceived that this Government is in cahoots with insurers in efforts to drive as many families as possible out of the health insurance market,’’ Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher said. “More than 6,000 people a month are giving up private health insurance.’’

 

Eamon Gilmore

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“The Government has no legal power to intervene in the pricing set by VHI or any other insurer,’’ he added. “However, we are very concerned about the cost of standard health insurance for hard- pressed families.’’

Mr Gilmore said Minister for Health Dr James Reilly had set up a consultative forum to work with health insurers, the Department of Health and the Health Insurance Authority on the issue of containing costs. His initial report had been published and he would have a further report within three months.

The Tánaiste was replying to Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher, who noted VHI had announced its fourth price increase in three years.

“It could be perceived that this Government is in cahoots with insurers in efforts to drive as many families as possible out of the health insurance market,’’ Mr Kelleher added. “More than 6,000 people a month are giving up private health insurance.’’


‘Gold-plated’
He called on the Minister for Finance to reverse the cap on tax relief for health insurance, in view of the fact he said “only gold-plated health insurance policies’’ would be affected. “On the contrary, it is affecting every family in the country currently attempting to retain their private health insurance,’’ Mr Kelleher added.

He appreciated, he said, Mr Gilmore sharing in the wonder at the rising cost but would prefer if he shared the responsibility.