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BUPA Ireland calls for competition without risk equalisation Back  
At the Strategic Planning Conference in November, Martin O'Rourke, Managing Director, BUPA Ireland called for the dismantling of monopolies and the abandonment of State aid and risk equalisation in the health insurance sector. He said the White Paper on health insurance does not allow competition and was another crisis in the making. 'Risk equalisation', he said, 'just rigs the market to protect the monopoly'.

Mr. O'Rourke stated that the claims sharing system which is sometimes used to support mandatory social insurance in markets where prices are fixed renders international comparisons meaningless. 'The impact of risk equalisation makes competition impossible and would require a £20m transfer over 3 years from BUPA Ireland to the dominant provider. Risk equalisation also penalises cost containment, is regressive from an income distribution point of view and it breaches EU law,' he said.

'Risk equalisation system is not needed for the protection of community rating for VHI nor for consumers. It has not been justified, it just rigs the market to protect the monopoly. The protection of community rating should not mean the protection of any market player'.

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