Health Insurance Warning

February 16th, 2011
Health Insurance Warning

Opponents of the NHS reforms had a boost earlier this month when the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries warned that the reforms could cause a rise in health insurance bills.

The organisation also said that Health and Social Care Bill 2011 which is currently passing through the various stages in the House of Commons may have massive implications for the health insurance industry; the NHS covers practically all health care needs, whereas private health insurance doesn’t.

The Government Bill aims to remove Primary Care Trusts and replace them by GP consortiums, which the Government hope will purchase health care provision for their patients directly from any willing provider.

The costs of the reforms are expected to run to £1.2 billion with ongoing costs being around £1.3 billion, per year, less existing costs.

What the implications are exactly for the health insurance industry is not spelt out, but many opponents are comparing the potential privatisation of the NHS with that currently the case in the United States and elsewhere.

In the US, millions of people either cannot afford health insurance or were denied it because pre-existing conditions such as diabetes was not covered. President Obama has tried to reform this, but Republican opponents are trying to prevent the Bill becoming effective by adding amendments to the Act.

In Ireland, a growing number people are no longer able to afford health insurance as the industry has also recently increased premiums massively.

Whether similar problems will occur in Britain, specifically in England is yet to be tested.

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