Customers who don’t take out health insurance before age 35 may face penalties
Source: The Irish Times
Author: Paul Cullen
From May 2015 onwards, those aged 35 and over will face a 2% per year penalty on their health insurance. The motive behind this is to try and attract younger customers into the health insurance market. Thousands are predicted to sign-up to health insurance in order to avoid paying this levy.
For example, a person aged 40 years old and taking out health insurance for the first time will have to pay 12% more than their counterpart who already has health insurance. For a 50 year old, this is a 32% increase. A family with two 40 year old adults with a premium of €1,100 will have to pay an extra €264 per year. For those aged 69 and over, the penalty will be capped at a maximum of 70%. Credit will apply to periods of unemployment and to those who already had held health insurance at some stage in the past. A grace period of nine months will apply to people moving to Ireland and buying health insurance here for the first time.
The Irish Government also plans to introduce discounts to younger people to encourage them to take out health insurance, ranging from 50% for a 21 year old to 10% for a 25 year old. These discounts require legislation which is unlikely to occur by the end of the year. According to health insurance expert Dermot Goode, the introduction of this new penalty for those aged 35 or over, may act as an incentive to those already considering health insurance.
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