Having private health insurance covers you against all or some of the costs associated with health care. This allows you to use the private health system, giving you an extra level of security. There are different levels of cover that you can choose.
Health insurance is a coverage that pays out if you are sick or injured. The rules for cover are different from country to country. In some places, private cover runs alongside public health. In others, you claim on your policy or pay for care out of pocket.
Ireland has a public health care system. Medical Cards entitle you to free treatment.
Finding cheap health cover is a challenge. To find a quality scheme, do the following:
- Learn about individual/couple/family health insurance plans.
- Think about what level of cover you need
- Consider what scheme you can afford.
- Shop around. Many people use InsuranceDeals to find the best options for you.
- Choose a quality provider with sound finances.
- Estimate your costs. Work out your monthly premiums and deductibles implied by the scheme.
- Investigate the work of Mr Goode. He is an expert on comparing health cover prices.
Irish public cover offers free treatment for all. Resources, however, are limited. Thus, you may not always get the care you need. Luckily, private insurers can source medications and therapies unavailable through the public healthcare system.
Ireland has two different levels of public sector healthcare. Those on low incomes can qualify for a Medical Card to get free services. Those above a certain income get subsidised care. They must, however, still pay a fee for GP visits. Those with a GP visit card get care for free.
Whether you need private health insurance is an individual decision. Some people with relatively rare conditions may require additional cover. You may also want to go private if you want rapid treatment.
Several companies offer private insurance in Ireland. These are HSF Health Plan, Irish Life Health (formerly Aviva). Laya Healthcare, GloHealth and VHI.
Private companies, like Laya and Irish Life Health, offer private health insurance. Here, individual customers pay a premium. The state provides public health cover through the Health Service Executive. Taxpayers and central bank credit pay for this.
Each company is different. The best is the one that offers the insurance you need.
Different providers offer different health insurance plans. Each firm must follow basic Health Insurance Authority (HIA) rules - the agency that regulates the health insurance market. Beyond that, they are free to make their own. Some cater to those with pre-existing conditions. Others offer specialist health services for rare diseases.
To find out more about health plans, log on to our website. Then, select the product menu and check out results.
The way healthcare cover works is simple. The underwriter pays the hospital or clinic directly for your care. Rules state that firms providing cover must provide minimum benefits. These include:
- Daycare/in-patient care
- Hospital out-patient care
- Maternity care
- Psychiatric care and substance abuse
- Semi-private accommodation in public hospitals
How you claim depends on the company. Some Insurers have direct payment agreements with hospitals. They settle the bill directly, paying for treatments covered by your plan. Others ask you to pay costs upfront and then claim money afterwards.
Before receiving any care, check that you’re eligible for cover. Ring customer service for confirmation.
The public system is good, but it is not perfect. Medical Cards offer limited benefits. For many, getting cover is vital. Here’s why:
- Faster care
- Better quality care in private hospitals
- Private consultations
- Reduced waiting times
- Elective procedures
If you want a health plan, InsuranceDeals should be your first stop. We gather information on products on the market. You can see how your existing plan compares.
We offer guidance throughout the entire process. We suggest that you gather as much info from your provider as you can. The more questions you can answer the better. Remember, health plan operators need to know as much as possible about you. By giving them your data, you can get a policy that suits you.
Remember to do your homework. Always check the services and facilities offered by each plan. Look for things like hospital cover, excesses, and MRI scan centres near where you live.
If switching providers, make sure you cancel the old policy once the new cover is in place. If you don’t, you could end up paying two insurance policies at once.
No. The health insurance policy premiums are determined by age. The amount you pay depends on your age bracket. For example, 0 to 18 or 35 to 40.
The chance that you will fall seriously ill increases with age. Policies, therefore, become more expensive, the older you are.
Choosing a cover is important. The average cost of a plan €1858 a year. The cheapest is €852 per adult per year to cover medical expenses. The most expensive is €4778 per adult per year. At the last count, there were more than 68 different plans available in the country. With each passing year, that number continues to rise. Companies are always looking for new ways to make their cover more attractive. The decision for consumers can, therefore, be tricky. Greater choice, however, makes it more rewarding. You are more likely to find a plan that suits your needs.
Plans can be costly. It is vital, therefore, that you seek out the best deals. Remember, you don’t have to put up with high prices.
You can find all of the latest deals on insurance in Ireland through InsuranceDeals.
You can compare companies on price comparison websites. InsuranceDeals lets you compare all health plans easily. It’s very simple. Just pop in your details and get instant quotes.