Downright theft - Health insurance levy

Health Minister Simon Harris is delusional if he thinks that private health insurers will not pass on any increases in their costs to customers. His department has just written to insurers to advise them that the Government is to raise the health insurance levy by 10% from next April.

The minister called on insurance companies to “think carefully” before passing on any levy increases, but the liklihood is that they will have to.

Those paying for private insurance are already overburdened, as they are now forced to pay an additional private charge when being treated in public hospitals.

This outrageous charge was introduced by the minister’s predecessor, James Reilly, and is costing insurers in the region of €150m a year.

And who ends up paying for this?

The private health insurance customer, of course, even though they have already paid for public care through their taxes.

This is not just unfair; it is downright theft.

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