Community rating for Health Insurance.

The court case appears to have set aside community rating at least in part so…
why isn’t my health insurance premium (as a relatively young male with one of VHI’s competitors) not going down?

Is the 600 quid health care premium which is pretty much mandatory if you want even a basic level of healthcare equivalent roughly to 1 or 2% extra on income tax.
The public health care service in France and Germany come free and would be better than what we have to pay an additional amount for here.

The healthcare in Germany is not free, the employee, the employer and the State contribute a portion. It is however a very good system. I lived there for some years and that is my experience.

Yes, but I remenber being in Germany on a transfer for a number of weeks last year.
The guy sitting across from me had to be the most afflicted guy in the world. Wheezing, Gasping, complaining of various general genuine ailments and I was thinking to myself if that guy had to rely on the Irish health service he’d be dead by now.
One day he came in late after a doctors appointment; cost €10. The Doctor/GP treating him was an Irish national.

I had my son in Germany and because my doctor was attached to a private clinic I HAD to go there to have him - this place was so good that the food was reviewed in a main stream magazine. I had a semi private room and my son had the best care available. I couldn’t fault the system…

The public health care service is not free. Taxes pay for it.

However, I have little doubt that it would be better than anything available in Ireland.

This very well may be the end of the road for the BertieBasher family. My wife(non Irish, EU citizen) has put up with living here for the last while cause I’ve had family private health insurance. (She can get better in her home country for a fraction of the cost. Dental, medical, better standard of living etc) Now with the extra cost we’ll probably move out. Health insurance is the most important insurance you’ll get and it can’t be subject to silly fluctuations where you reach a point where you can’t afford it.
This badly managed country is starting to fall apart. Why am I surprised? I know this was coming.

That really depends on your age. If you’re a man, it makes very little sense to buy private medical insurance before the age of fifty (unless you are prone to depression or have pre-existing conditions). Your chances of contracting cancer, heart disease, or serious arthritic conditions are minimal until this age. All you are doing is subsidising the older generation. A woman needs insurance by age 45 (many have gynaecological problems which need treatment between ages 45 and 55). Children don’t need private insurance. Women planning to have children need to dip in and out as required - as individuals, not with a family membership.

That’s part of Mary’s con job, which the media haven’t challenged, but the private insurers will, in the courts again, as the courts are the only ones able to put manners on her and her department.

The court case set aside the particular mechanism of risk equalisation that Mary wanted to apply to help bail out the VHI which has a higher proprotion of older subscribers and pays bloated public sector wages. It said nothing about community rating, which is completely intact. It is illegal, repeat illegal, for any Irish health insurance provider to charge a health insurance premium based on age. The VHI were publicly threatening to do so, Mary repeated the threat, RTE amplified it, and nobody challenged her on this nonsense.

The legislation is crystal clear, but few in this country seem to bother their arse to look it up: … .html#sec5

The whole sorry episode was discussed in depth here:


You expect me and others to burrow through the statute book. I used to try that but the amount of legalese I had to contend with soon put an end to that.
Simple “Bothering their arse” means taking hours trying to find the relevant paragraph in the relevant act and interpret it correctly by a layman with no legal background.
Nowadays if I want information I try to go to rather than the statute book because I can find interpreted information there.

Descend from thine tall four legged hoofed creature and join us in the real world! : )

Now now, no need to get all sensitive and touchy. I was referring to the lazy/compliant Irish media whose job it is to ferret out the lies and distortions regularly peddled by Harney, her Department, and the VHI. But if even they had looked up as you suggest, they would have found that:

But that didn’t stop the likes of the Independent’s Fionnan Sheahan, or RTE’s Fergal Bowers spouting the Departmental propaganda: … 44159.html

The under 50s should wake up to the scam that’s being perpetrated on them. Before, it was the Quinns and Vivas who were supposed to pay for Harney’s risk equalisation and VHI support out of their profits. Now the under 50s will foot the bill directly. They should cop on and dump private health insurance, and put the money aside in a fund instead.

By the way thanks for the equestrian advice, but I’ll pass, and seeing as it was you as OP who asked the questions in the first place, I’ll think twice about bothering my arse responding to your questions in future.

Guys I think the principle of community rating is very misunderstood, especially by our illustrious politicians.

Community is not based on the principle of the young subsidising the old.

Community rating is based on the principle of the young subsidising themselves.

In practical temrs, the principle is based on the idea that an insured person can continue to pay the same premium class for the entire duration f their policy (i.e. life).

So as a young 21 year old, if I take out a VHI Plan B plociy, I will still pay at the same rate when I an 70. I am effectively subsidising myself on a deferred basis, by taking out the policy when young.

The principle has never been properly implemented in Ireland, as this principle is based on the idea that your starting rate dictates the rate yuo pay for life. In Ireland a 21 year old and 50 year old starting on the same day will pay the same rate, even though the 50 year old has never made this deferred subsidy.

For community rating to work, the young must subsidise themselves. In practice, this means that the age at commencement of the policy should dictate the premium rate. Those who defer taking out insurance, and thus do not provide a deferred subsidy should not be able to avail of the same primium rate as those who do.

In practice this requires that premiums are age rated, based on age at commencement of the policy, but as usual, our political geniuses are either too thick or too cowardly to grasp this principle.

Perhaps you mis-understood that they meant ‘community rating - irish style’, not the vanilla flavour.

This idea of getting permanent benefits by signing up young could probably fall foul of European law as it would discriminate against workers who moved to Ireland later in life and who had never had the opportunity of signing up to the VHI when younger…

Was there not talk of implementing something like this when they announced the new levy?
It’s mentioned here

Not talking out insurance until your fifty is fine as long as you don’t actually get sick.
I was diagnosed with colitis at 29 and have had many hospital stays as a result in the two years since.
If I hadn’t got private insurance at the time, I’d probably be still waiting to be diagnosed given the waits for colonoscopys there are in some parts of the country.
Plus I’d have to wait five years while paying premiums before the insurance would pay for anything related to it.

I wouldn’t have thought so. As long as they are charged the same premium as someone of the same age here who had not previously taken out insurance. Will I get the same no claims bonus if I move from somewhere where I had previusly been insured (or as in Canada covered by a state insurance scheme) and want to take out car insurance here?

Well, they could have had insurance elsewhere. Penalising them for not having had insurance** in Ireland** would reduce labour mobility…so it’s certainly an arrangement that could be challenged.