New comprehensive health insurance product is the first of its kind in Ireland.

While traditional health insurance plans only cover general practitioner costs after an excess of about £200, this new one-stop package covers GP and consultants' visits, as well as physiotherapy and screening on top of hospital coverage. Customers will be able to claim back about half of their out-patient fees. The product will cost £449 for an adult, which makes it £140 more expensive than the most popular BUPA mainstream plan.

According to BUPA spokesperson John O'Dwyer:

This is the first comprehensive health insurance product on the Irish market. It covers a wide range of screenings.... with no traditional excess.

The launch will be seen as a direct challenge to the VHI, who are looking at a system to compensate doctors directly, and hope to have their product available after Christmas.

An RTÉ News report from 21 August 2000. The reporter is Eilis Brennan