Written Answers. - VHI Premium Increases.

Michael Noonan

Ceist:

215 Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) asked the Minister for Health the reason he has sanctioned increases in VHI premia which are in excess of the rate of inflation; the reason he felt that such increases were necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [188/94]

While I presently have no statutory responsibilities in relation to the determination of VHI premium increases it is the convention that such increases are determined by the VHI Board following consultation with the Minister for Health. Proposals by VHI for increases in premia are carefully considered in the context of the need to ensure the solvency of VHI and its ability to continue to provide an adequate range of insurance cover to its subscribers. In this regard I must consider the solvency requirements which apply to insurance companies as part of the EU Single Market in non-life insurance. Regard must also be had to ensuring that VHI has sufficient resources at its disposal to offer a comprehensive range of products which meet the needs of subscribers.