How Does Lifetime Community Rating Affect me?

If Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) impacts you, a loading will be added to the price of your annual health insurance premium.

How are loadings calculated?

If you are taking out a private health insurance policy for the first time at age 35 years or older, you will pay a 2% loading on top of the cost of your premium for every year you are aged over 34 up to a maximum of 70%.

Are there any exemptions from lifetime community rating loading?


  • If you have held health insurance in the past, this period of time may become a
    qualified credited period to reduce your loading.
  • If you have received certain types of social welfare payments or have been financially
    dependent on someone who has received such payments, you may be entitled to
    receive credits.
  • If you have lived abroad on the 1st May 2015 and return to Ireland after this date, you
    may have 9 months to take out health insurance before any loadings apply.


If I had private health insurance previously, but had a break in cover, do I still have to pay the loading?

Yes – the level of loading may be reduced by the number of previous years of health insurance cover you have.

Can I stop my private health insurance cover for a period of time without affecting the LCR loading?

Yes - periods of up to 13 weeks without cover will be allowed without affecting your loading

Will I have to pay a loading for the rest of my life if I continue to maintain my private health insurance cover?

No - The loading that applies when a person buys private health insurance after the 1 May 2015 will apply in subsequent years, capped at no more than 10 years.

Why is the rate of loading set at 2% per year?

LCR legislation outlines the method used to calculate the rate of loadings. This is based on an assessment across all ages in the market. 2% per year is considered to be a reasonable rate of increase, without being overly punitive.

Can an insurer make an exemption for me from the LCR loading?

No - under LCR legislation, loadings cannot be waived by the insurer.

What happens if I switch from one insurer to another?

Switching from one insurer to another or from one policy to another does not affect the applicable loading. Loadings, if any, will continue to apply and insurers are required to supply each other with proof of an individual’s prior cover to assist with the calculation of any loadings.

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