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Private Health Insurance in Ireland: A Case Study


  • Francesca Colombo
  • Nicole Tapay


This paper analyses the Irish private health insurance (PHI) market. It describes how PHI interacts with the public system, and assesses its contribution to equity, efficiency and responsiveness of the health system. The analysis identifies some of the factors affecting insurance market performance and its impact on the health system, including market characteristics, the regulatory and fiscal environment, health system organisation, and any actors’ incentives and behaviours.PHI plays a prominent role in Ireland. The health system is designed to offer comprehensive publicly funded health services to low-income groups, and universal public hospital coverage. Policies have encouraged the development of PHI to provide all individuals with a private alternative to the public system, as well as a means of funding cost-sharing and services not covered by the public system. With the implementation of the requirements of the Third EU Non-Life Directive, the PHI market, historically ... Cet article analyse le marché de l'assurance maladie privée (AMP) en Irlande. Il décrit comment l'assurance maladie privée interagit avec le système public et évalue sa contribution à l’équité, l'efficacité et la réactivité du système de santé. Cette analyse identifie certains facteurs affectant la performance, y compris les caractéristiques du marché de l'assurance privée, la régulation et le cadre financier, l'organisation du système de santé, ainsi que les incitations et le comportement des différents acteurs.L'AMP joue un rôle important en Irlande. Le système de santé offre des services de santé complets financés par des fonds publics aux groupes à bas revenus ainsi qu’une couverture universelle de frais d’hospitalisation. Les politiques de la santé ont encouragé le développement de l'AMP afin d’assurer à tous les individus une alternative au système public ainsi qu’un moyen pour financier le ticket modérateur et les services qui ne sont pas couverts par le système public ...

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Colombo & Nicole Tapay, 2004. "Private Health Insurance in Ireland: A Case Study," OECD Health Working Papers 10, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:10-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Meliyanni Johar & Elizabeth Savage, 2010. "Do Private Patients have Shorter Waiting Times for Elective Surgery? Evidence from New South Wales Public Hospitals," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(2), pages 128-142, June.
    2. Withanachchi, Nimnath & Uchida, Yasuo, 2006. "Healthcare rationing: A guide to policy directions in Sri Lanka," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 17-25, August.
    3. Bolhaar, Jonneke & Lindeboom, Maarten & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2012. "A dynamic analysis of the demand for health insurance and health care," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 669-690.
    4. Samantha Smith, 2010. "The Irish ‘health basket’: a basket case?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 11(3), pages 343-350, June.
    5. repec:eso:journl:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:61-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jacqueline O'Reilly & Miriam M. Wiley, 2008. "How Local is Hospital Treatment? An Exploratory Analysis of Public/Private Variation in Location of Treatment in Irish Acute Public Hospitals," Papers WP237, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Francesco Paolucci & Femmeke Prinsze & Pieter Stam & Wynand Ven, 2009. "The potential premium range of risk-rating in competitive markets for supplementary health insurance," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 243-258, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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