Lifetime Community Rating
What is it?
Lifetime community rating is a system whereby the premium that individuals pay for health insurance rises with the age they enter the private health insurance market. From 1st May 2015, anyone aged 35 or above who buys private health insurance for the first time will pay an additional charge. A loading of 2% of the gross premium will apply for every year of age greater than 34 years old when they first purchase private health insurance, up to a maximum of 70% for those joining at age 69 or over. It is important to note that Lifetime community rating loadings will apply for a maximum period of 10 years.
There is some good news
If you decide to take out private health insurance before you are 35 or above, you can avoid the additional charge on your premium. This applies to your premium as long as you remain a paid-up private health insurance customer.
I had to give up my insurance because I couldn’t afford it after losing my job. What happens now?
The Regulations include an allowance of up to three years for anyone who held insurance but then had to give it up because of redundancy (for a period occurring after 1 January 2008). The individual must have been in receipt of Social Welfare or financially dependent on someone who was during the period directly after being made redundant and should have been unemployed for a period of 6 months or more.
Can I drop my health insurance for a period without a loading being applied?
A break in cover of up to 13 weeks is allowed without affecting your loading.