Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (57)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

57. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance with regard to figures regarding persons in possession of private health plans, if 90% of policy holders will be affected by recent changes in budget 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45419/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The position is that from 16 October 2013, tax relief for medical insurance premiums will be restricted to the first €1,000 per adult and the first €500 per child insured. Any portion of premium paid in excess of these ceilings will no longer qualify for tax relief. The new ceilings will ensure some continuing support via the tax system for those who purchase medical insurance policies, while reducing Exchequer exposure to more expensive policies. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that based on 2012 data, the most up to date data available, it is estimated that up to 577,000 policy holders, which equates to just under 53% of all policies, may be affected by this measure.

However, I should point out that many will only be affected marginally, depending on the cost of the policies that individuals purchase. In addition, individuals can of course opt for less expensive policies and therefore avoid the impact of this measure entirely.