Bupa have announced that they are to pull out of Ireland after losing their court case against the introduction of risk equalisation (pdf file) – which the company says compels it to pay €1 million every week to compensate other insurance providers such as VHI for covering older consumers. Health Minister Mary Harney says she regrets the decision.
The decision means the loss of around 300 jobs, the majority of which are in Fermoy, Co Cork while the company’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.
It seems strange that Bupa pulls out when it knew that risk equalisation was on the cards when it set up in Ireland in the first place unless they assumed they could lobby to prevent it happening. Should be interesting to see who the half a million people affected by the move blame for it.