Healthy sums

Health minister Ab Klink has barely been in the job for a couple of months, and he is already coming up with schemes which must have the health insurance companies saying ‘oh no, not again’.

Now he wants to replace the ‘no claims bonus’ for people who don’t spend much on healthcare with an own-risk payment for everyone.
At the moment, insurers have to add up a patient’s spending, deduct it from the €255 no-claim limit and send back the surplus cash – a nice bureaucratic exercise which doubtless costs more to administer than it saves.
So Klink wants to bring back the own-risk element – which existed in a slightly different form before the no-claim bonus was introduced in 2006.
Such a system means insurance premiums could be cut by €90 a year, he says. In other words, healthy people will be paying €60 more for healthcare – without the prospect of getting money back via the bonus if they don’t need any health services.
And that is not to mention all the extra administrative costs for the insurers who will have to carry out this wretched scheme. Clever thinking Klink.
But wait, isn’t Klink the minister whose budget already includes a €1bn overspend – in just a few short months? Could there possibly be a link between the overspend and the extra €60 that patients will end up paying if this tinkering with the books goes ahead?

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