Draft report requires everyone to have standard health insurance

People who do not buy basic health insurance in the future could have the cost taken from their wages or benefits.

That is according to a draft report on Ireland's proposed universal health insurance system, outlined in today's Irish Times.

Under the scheme, everyone in the country would have to have at least a standard level of cover from any insurance company.

The 86-page white paper on Universal Health Insurance prepared by Minister James Reilly aims to transform healthcare in Ireland.

The draft document, which will be considered by the Cabinet next week, requires all members of the public to be insured to the same standard by one of a number of insurance firms.

It says that if a person fails to buy a UHI policy, the State will do so on their behalf and "recoup the cost at source from income or benefits."

The make-up of the standard package won't be determined until consultation is finished.

However, it is believed it will allow people to buy supplementary cover for services not covered - like private rooms in hospitals.

Also that supplementary cover will be risk-rated, meaning the cost could increase significantly as the subscriber gets older.

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