Health Insurance and the Living Wage

This Research inBrief examines one component of the expenditure associated with the calculation of a Living Wage for the Republic of Ireland – Health Insurance.

The Republic of Ireland’s Living Wage was established in 2014 by the Living Wage Technical Group.

The inclusion of expenditure on health insurance in the Living Wage calculation derives from Budget Standards research indicating that such expenditure is ‘a need’ for a full-time single working adult.

A significant improvement in the provision of, and access to, non-GP health care might alter the perception among individuals that health insurance is a need.

While such a significant change in health policy and provision seems far off, this Research inBrief simulates its effect.

The Research inBrief finds that without the cost of health insurance the 2016 Living Wage would fall by 55c (4.8%) to €10.95 per hour.


This document complements a forthcoming Research inBrief examining the Living Wage and Housing Costs.

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