Thursday 20 November 2008

Did ya get healed?

Last July the Supreme Court struck down the controversial risk equalisation scheme which forced other health insurers to compensate the VHI for covering older, more costly subscribers under its community rating system.

Naturally, this led to fears that older people would, at best, face soaring premiums or, at worst, be refused cover.

Yesterday the government attempted to assuage these fears by announcing plans to provide €300 million in tax relief which will effectively subsidise the cost of health insurance subscriptions for people over the age of 50. A levy of €160 per adult subscriber and € 53 for each child will be imposed on all health insurance companies to fund the proposed relief.

Today's Irish Times covers the story and, Minister for Death, Mary Harney's comments:

"We believe that there is a lot of scope for the companies to subsume some of this, if not all of it," she said. The Minister said that in a very competitive market the health insurance companies would be able to compete not just for younger people but for older customers. "It will make older customers attractive."


That's the kind of health service we need - something that's a cross between Casualty and How to Look Good Naked.

Roll on the foxy pensioners - still no foxy nuns though.