Despite the fact that all individuals have access to public health insurance, a near majority of Irish residents also buy private health insurance as well. In June 2012, 2,123 million people — or 46.3 percent of the population — held private health insurance.
Private health insurance, however, is under attack. In June 2012 there were 61,000 less people privately insured than in June 2011.
The reason for this is the rise in cost of private health insurance, due in part to a 40 per cent increase in the Government levy on private health insurance announced at the beginning of the year. In fact, the rise in private healthcare costs has been a leading contributor to the rise in the consumer price index over the last year.
Source: Jason Shafrin.