The study assessed how competition was working between private health insurers within the limits of wider public policy goals.
We found that competition between health insurers is limited and will remain so as there are other public health policies at work which mean competition does not work well in this market
We made 16 recommendations to promote competition in the private health insurance market in Ireland, including the following:
Vhi Healthcare should be subject to the same solvency rules as other health insurers in Ireland
Publish more information on, and promote consumer awareness of, the ease of switching health insurer
The Health Insurance Authority should be given more powers to enforce the Health Insurance Acts and to promote the interests of consumers
Since the publication of the study, the Health Insurance Authority has been given more enforcement powers. In addition, a switching code and a price comparison tool have been introduced.
Consumers now have more information and protection than ever before when it comes to choosing the best private health insurance product for them.