Reilly’s bungled insurance legislation raises more questions on competence

Published on: 09 January 2013

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has called on the Minister for Health to explain the unfolding problems arising from his Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2012, which mean that everyone will pay the same additional levy, regardless of what type of private health insurance policy they hold.

He also described the problem as the latest in a long list of evidence of Minister Reilly’s incompetence.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “During the debate on the Health Insurance Amendment Act 2012 late last year, the Minister for Health made a clear promise that there would be a two tier levy system for those with advanced and non-advanced cover so that those with more basic cover wouldn’t end up having to subsidise the more advanced policy holders.  It was expected that those on basic packages would face a €5 increase while those on advanced policies would face a €65 hike.

“However, following a recent review of all policies by the Health Insurance Authority based on the wording of Minister Reilly’s legislation, they found that none of the plans on the market at present conform with the Minister’s definition of “non-advanced” and as a result all policies are now categorised as “advanced” meaning the same higher rate of levy for all.

“This is a serious flaw in important legislation which has expensive consequences for policy holders and the health insurance market.  In response, the Minister has said nothing to date and his Department has moved to fudge the issue.  Universal Health Insurance was a key policy platform for Minister Reilly. The fact that he has completely bungled his first insurance legislation despite all the resources at his disposal is the latest example in a long list of evidence of Minister Reilly’s incompetence.  I would call on him to come forward and explain himself at the earliest opportunity.”

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