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J.F.Dunne Insurances Ltd urges consumers to review health insurance needs before 1st May 2015

Known as Lifetime Community Rating, the new legislation, due to come into effect on May 1st 2015, is designed to encourage individuals to take out private health insurance at a younger age, thereby keeping the annual cost of health insurance more affordable for everyone.    Recent years have seen a drop in younger adults taking out health insurance. Community rated markets such as the one in Ireland depend on a continuing entry of younger people, as younger people claim less on average and their continuing participation keeps costs down for everybody.

What’s Changing?

Under the new legislation, community rating will be modified to reflect the age at which a person first takes out private health insurance.  Those aged 35 years of age or over who currently do not have health insurance will, on or after 1st May 2015, due to Lifetime Community Rating, pay an additional loading on top of the standard premium, starting at 2% for those aged 35 and increasing by an additional 2% for every year over this when first taking out the policy.  There is no change in standard premium costs for those who already have a health insurance policy or for adults aged under 35 years who take out a policy on or after 1st May.  Notably, there will be some allowances made for individuals who have been unemployed and had to cancel a previous policy and for individuals who move to Ireland and take a policy out within nine months of arriving here. 

Commenting on the new legislation, J. F. Dunne Insurance Ltd, said: “It’s very important that people who are considering taking out a health insurance policy for the first time are aware of this legislation.  We know that people are starting to return to the health insurance market but if you are 35 or over and haven’t held a policy before, then it would be wise to look at this before May 1st as you will pay less for a policy now than if you take out the same policy after that date.  All of the health insurers have recently introduced affordable plans aimed at those looking to join the health insurance market for the first time and there are plans out there from just €35.40 per month.  We are offering new customers the option to visit us or to go through their budget, family circumstances and health needs over the telephone, after which we can make a recommendation on a level of health insurance cover.”

“Health insurance has traditionally been very important to a lot of individuals in Ireland, with 40% of the population holding a policy, offering them choice and access to treatments when they need it.  If you are considering health insurance cover, then don’t leave it too late to take out a policy, take it out at a younger age.  This legislation is designed to encourage younger adults in to the health insurance market by rewarding people who join the market under the age of 35 by ensuring they pay only the standard premium for their chosen cover every year.  Conversely, consumers who leave it until later in life, when they are more likely to make a claim on their policy, will pay an additional loading on top of the standard policy price.” 

Individuals who want to find out more should contact Catherine on 045 878500 for further information or e-mail health@jfd.ie

What is Lifetime Community Rating?

Lifetime Community Rating was announced by Minister for Health James Reilly in July 2014 as a measure to encourage people to take out private health insurance at a younger age, thereby helping to control premium inflation across the health insurance market.  Community rated markets depend on a continuing entry of younger people as younger people claim less on average and, accordingly, their continuing participation keeps premiums down for everybody. Conversely, if people wait until they are older before taking out private health insurance, premiums will increase for everybody.

The introduction of Lifetime Community Rating provides for late entry loadings on the premiums of those who buy health insurance for the first time at the age of 35 years and older.

Up to 1 May 2015 no loadings will apply. After that date, people aged 35 and upwards will be subject to a late entry loading of 2% per annum when taking out private health insurance. Existing health insurance customers who continue to retain their cover will not be affected. Credit will be provided for previous periods of health insurance and for periods of unemployment since the economic downturn in 2008.

J.F.Dunne Insurances Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. J.F.Dunne Insurances Ltd is part of the JF Dunne Group.
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