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Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has today welcomed confirmation by health insurance companies to offer customers a rebate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government recently announced a partnership agreement with private hospitals as part of the national effort to respond to the emergency.
The additional capacity secured is vital for the health service to ensure availability of all necessary resources during this public health emergency, although the measure has implications for private health insurers and their customers.
Since the announcement, officials from the Department of Health have engaged with relevant stakeholders to inform them of and discuss the private hospital arrangements.
This engagement has included convening a meeting of the Consultative Forum on Health Insurance, with representation from each of the health insurers, the Health Insurance Authority and the Department.
Following this engagement, private health insurers have been assessing how the pandemic will impact their claims costs and have been considering what financial supports can be put in place for their members in response to COVID-19.
The three main health insurers in Ireland have today (Thursday 16th April) announced a range of financial measures and supports being introduced to support their customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking today, Minister Simon Harris TD said:
“I welcome the measures announced by each of the insurers today, which are focused towards assisting health insurance customers impacted by the COVID-19 national response.
The measures announced are being taken in recognition of the temporarily changed landscape in which health insurers currently operate. I am pleased that insurers are exercising forbearance and providing appropriate assistance to their customers during this most challenging time.”
The Framework Agreement in place with the Private Hospitals Association is for an initial three-month period, as the State seeks to optimise the use of private and public facilities throughout the country in response to this unprecedented public health emergency. The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Health Insurance Authority as regulator of the industry, will continue to monitor developments and impacts for the health insurance sector.
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