Written Answers. - VHI Charges.

Michael Finucane

Ceist:

153 Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Health the extent, if any, to which competition has stabilised VHI cost: and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1019/94]

The Health Insurance Act, 1994, gave effect in this State to the EU Single Market in health insurance in accordance with the key principles of community rating, open enrolment and life membership. My Department is presently preparing the detailed regulations to apply under the Act with a view to their being in place on 1 January 1995. Until this process is completed it is not possible to predict the degree to which competition to VHI will emerge or its impact. However, I am determined to ensure that a comprehensive range of health insurance products will continue to be provided by VHI at a reasonable cost to subscribers.