Private Health Insurance in Ireland: Trends and Determinants

Kanika Kapur

This study examines the determinants of demand for private health insurance in
Ireland. Survey data commissioned by the Health Insurance Authority from 2009 to
2017 are used to estimate multivariate models of health insurance demand. The
results show that older and sicker individuals are more likely to have private health
insurance, suggesting that adverse selection may be an issue in the Irish market.
Irish-born are found to be more likely to have private health insurance. Preferences
for health insurance also play an important role in predicting the purchase of health
insurance. After controlling for the role of socio-economic factors and individual
preferences, annual variations in the economy are not found to affect private health
insurance coverage.
Published in The Economic and Social Review, 2020, vol. 51(1), pages 63-92.