Health Insurance
The health insurance market in Ireland is so complex.

With new plans being released every year, changes being made to existing ones and certain plans being withdrawn – it’s no wonder people have such a headache at renewal every year! We can help you find the most suitable plan to suit your needs, we start by asking you a few short questions: 

 

  • Do you have an existing health insurance policy and if so, what is your renewal date? 
  • What type of room is important to you – semi-private (5 beds or less) or private? 
  • Would you like cover for public hospitals only, private hospitals or would you like to include cover for High-tech hospitals (the Beacon, Blackrock Clinic and The Mater Private)? 
  • How much do you spend on outpatient visits such as Consultants, GPs, Phsyio, dentist etc. 
  • Are maternity or fertility benefits important to you over the next 2-3 years?
  • Do you have any existing medical conditions? 

Waiting Periods:

When purchasing health insurance for the first time, you are considered a ‘new entrant’. New entrant waiting periods are as follows: 

  • Accident or Injury – Immediate Cover 
  • New Conditions – 26 Weeks 
  • Pre-Existing Conditions – 5 Years 
  • Maternity/ Fertility – 52 Weeks 

 

A Pre-existing condition is considered any “ailment, illness or condition, where, on the basis of medical advice, the signs or symptoms of that ailment, illness or condition existed at any time in the period of 6 months ending on the on which the person became insured under the contract”.

These waiting periods will never have to be re-served as long as there is no gap in the cover of more than 13 weeks. All providers will honour waiting periods served, regardless of what provider you served them with. This makes switching providers very easy to do. You will only serve additional waiting periods if you upgrade your cover and have an existing medical condition at the time of the upgrade. The upgrade waiting period is 2 years and only applies to any increased benefit that relates to an existing medical condition. If you don’t have an existing medical condition at the time of the upgrade, you don’t have to serve any additional waiting periods. 

Newborns must be added to a policy within 13 weeks of birth to avoid new entrant waiting periods. 

Personal Retirement Saving Account (PRSA):

This type of pension is often offered to PAYE workers whose employers don’t have an occupational scheme in place. All employers must legally offer a PRSA at a minimum, which means you can contribute to a PRSA via salary deduction and get tax relief at source. This PRSA can be moved from one employer to another should you leave employment. You can also arrange a PRSA and pay via your bank account and claim the tax relief at the end of the year.

Lifetime Community Rating:

Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) was introduced in May 2015 to encourage young people to purchase health insurance. From this date, if you take out health insurance for the first time after turning 35, you will have to pay extra. This is called a Lifetime Community Rating loading and it is 2% per year for every year you are 35 or over, up to a maximum of 70% and the loading is payable for 10 years. There are certain circumstances that may reduce this loading – if you had previous health insurance, were insured during a certain timeframe and if you were in receipt of social welfare during a defined period. If you move to Ireland and are over 35, you have 9 months to take out cover before a loading will be applied to your plan. We can help establish whether you will have a loading applied to your policy. 

Maternity Care:

The waiting period for maternity cover is 52-weeks. This means you have to be on policy 52 weeks at the time of birth, so you don’t have to wait a year before trying to conceive. It’s important to check what maternity cover you have if you are planning a family over the next year or so. There are a number of Care paths available for maternity – Public, Semi-private and Private. 

Connect with our team and discover how we can help your finances thrive.