Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 30 September, 2003
Written Answers. - Health Insurance.
Mr. Gormley Mr. Gormley
950. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Health and Children the VHI's plans with regard to its Government subsidy; the effect it will have on prices for health insurance; if he expects the normal pricing mechanisms of a competitive market to operate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20579/03]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The VHI has not been given a Government subsidy. The White Paper on Private Health Insurance referred to the matter of a financial injection to facilitate the restructuring of VHI, in the context of implementing legislation to give the VHI commercial freedom and enable it to seek authorisation as an insurer, having regard to its level of reserves at that time. The White Paper also identified compliance with EU obligations among the principal objectives to be considered  in relation to the restructuring of VHI and stated that any financial injection would have regard to EU requirements. It is my intention that any legislative change to VHI's status will facilitate the operation of a competitive market within the community-rated pricing framework currently in place. Ultimately, proposals by the Government for change in VHI's status will require legislation and will therefore arise for consideration and discussion in the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Dáil Éireann 571 Written Answers. Health Insurance.