Voluntary Health Insurance Act, 1957

Prohibition of unlicensed health insurance business.

23.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, it shall not be lawful for any person to provide by means of insurance or otherwise, in consideration of the payment by any person of a subscription or premium, benefits to defray the whole or part of the cost incurred by the person paying the subscription or premium of any medical, surgical, hospital or other health service unless the person providing the benefits holds a health insurance licence for the time being in force.

(2) Every person who acts in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding five pounds for every day on which the offence is continued.

(3) The prohibition effected by subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in relation to—

(a) benefits provided by the Board, a Minister of State, a trade union or a society registered in the State before the passing of this Act under the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1953, or

(b) benefits provided under—

(i) a contract which is attached to or dependent on a contract of assurance on human life and under which the assurer has no right of cancellation and which also provides for the payment of moneys in case of sickness, injury or disease of the insured,

(ii) a contract of insurance under which benefits are payable in respect of sickness, injury or disease of an amount calculated by reference to the duration of the sickness, injury or disease and not to the nature or cost of any hospital, medical, surgical or other health service, provided in respect of the sickness, injury or disease,

(iii) a contract of insurance against or otherwise in relation to any accident causing or being a contributory cause of sickness, injury or disease to the person insured thereunder or to any other person under which benefits are also payable in respect of such sickness, injury or disease, or

(iv) a contract of insurance which was made before the passing of this Act.

(4) This section and the next following section shall come into operation on such day as may be fixed therefor by order of the Minister.