I was interested to read that health-insurance firm BUPA has announced that it is pulling out of the Irish market.
In a statement on its website, the company says it has no choice but to make the decision and is doing so with great regret. The move is expected to result in the loss of around 300 jobs, most of them in Fermoy, Co Cork. BUPA’s 500,000 customers have been told they will be covered for the duration of their existing contracts, but these contracts will not be renewed once they expire. The company had warned that it would leave the Ireland market after the High Court’s recent decision to uphold the risk-equalisation scheme.
In essence, the Irish High Court ruling meant BUPA would have had to pay compensation to the State-owned VHI because of its younger client base. The company claimed the move would force it to hand over €161m to its rival over three years, even though its profits for the period would be just €64m.
I can understand BUPA’s refusal to fund the State but it is all a very sorry affair. Wonder what ATW’s southern readers reckon????