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Written Answers - Health Insurance

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 28.  Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming  asked the Minister for Health in Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the context of his plans for universal health insurance, his intentions for the VHI; if it will be broken up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16471/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly The Programme for Government provides for the VHI to remain in State ownership in order to provide a publicly-owned health insurance option when the new system of Universal Health Insurance (UHI) is introduced. Last year I [706]appointed financial and legal advisors to make recommendations on options to address the current imbalance in the private health insurance market. e advisors were invited to consider all options — including, but not limited to, a break-up of the VHI.

I am currently examining how best to address the imbalance in the structure of the private health insurance market in the overall context of a move towards UHI. This is being considered against a backdrop of the European Court of Justice Case regarding the VHI’s derogation from the EU Non-Life Directives which had exempted it from the requirement to be authorised by the Central Bank. The Court ruled against the State on 29 September last.

The Department will continue to work with the Commission to progress a range of issues relating to the legal status of the VHI. It is making good progress in relation to these and will press ahead with them as planned.

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