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Encouraging Youth to Buy Health Insurance Plan

Health Minister Leo Varadkar expressed his views about the expensive health insurance plans that have kept people away from buying a suitable cover to meet the eventualities of life. Subsequently, the government has taken strict measures to make the health insurance cover affordable for the citizens. With lower premiums and greater benefits, the health minster hopes to increase the numbers of health insurance buyers to a significant level.

Earlier Mr. Varadkar expressed although a large majority of Indian citizens have not availed a health insurance plan, but they would want to buy health plans if it was made affordable. However, the situation is bound to change from April 1, 2015. The first-time health insurance buyers will have to pay more, if they are older than 35 years, from 1st May, 2015. People signing up for the health insurance before this period would gain more.

The Health Minister will soon launch a new campaign on introducing the health insurance for “late entry” levy. He has structured a “Lifetime community rating’ which will encourage the youth to sign up for a suitable health insurance cover.

As per the ratings, if the individual is over 35 years of age and does not have a health cover, he would pay a penalty of 2% per year, if he opts to avail a plan in the future. For a 50-year-old, it will be a 32% increase in the penalty.

That sounds alarming, but Mr. Varadkar explained: “Health insurance is voluntary, and there are people who are unable to afford it, but the loading of 2% a year will be applicable to people who are opting for the policy between the ages 35 and 45 years. However, exemptions will be made in case of unemployment. If seen in a postive limelight, the plan would work out like a pension plan.

How is the plan beneficial? When a person opts to pay for his pension at the age of 50-years and receives the pension at 66-years, the benefits are lower as compared to a 30-year-old individual. Similarly, if the health cover is purchased at a younger age there are more benefits.

(Source: This article has been adapted from the article "Over 34s urged to take out health insurance before new levy" that appeared on 4 march 2015 in rte.ie.)

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