Feeling sick and unwell due to rising health insurance costs?

Live each day like you have a significantly better health insurance plan.

While private health insurance can be a big help if you want to be treated privately and quickly, but even this is no guarantee that you won’t be hit with a scary hospital bill. You should shop around and find the best plan.

One major issue with health insurance providers is that once you interact with them, they’ll tell you all about their fantastic plans suited to you. It doesn’t sound that bad, but you need to be certain about the cover you need.

Why it makes sense

The main reason is to be able to avoid possible waiting lists when trying to access treatment via the public system. If you cancel your health insurance cover now and rejoin in 12 months time you will be treated as a new member, regardless of how long you held insurance cover previously.

This means that if you are under 55, you must wait six months before any new conditions will be covered, but more importantly any existing medical condition will not be covered for a period of 5 years. For those over 65, this increases to ten years.

The recent reduction in the tax relief and the expected price hikes from insurers over the next few months has increased the challenge of holding on to private health insurance.

Many people thinking of cancelling their cover believe that public treatment is free, which is not the case.

Unless you hold a medical card, you will be charged €75 per night in a public ward, up to €750 in any 12 month period and this applies to young children as well. Given that health insurance can be purchased for €495 per adult and under €200 per child one could end up paying more as a public patient with no health cover.

Health Insurance fundamentally provides fast access to diagnosis and treatment when you need it.

 

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Health insurance checklist

Understanding the building blocks of health insurance can help you avoid confusing, even misleading, lingo, which will ultimately end up saving you money.

Health insurance gives peace of mind that you will receive medical treatment quickly and where you want to without having to face lengthy HSE queues or bureaucracy.

Get to grips with the fine print of your cover. For example , understand what excesses apply and when.

Remember that if you decide to cancel your cover, once it lapses for more than 13 weeks, you will have to serve your waiting periods again.

It is possible to reduce the cost of cover by demonstrating you lead a healthy lifestyle, for example, by going to the gym regularly.

There are also health cash plans. They work by paying out a cash sum whenever you visit a dentist or other medical practitioner, such as a chiropodist or optician, which you can spend on what you want.

Tips to cut your heath insurance bill

  • Split your cover across plans or insurers for the best value
  • Don’t pay for something that’s not essential or that you might not actually get, for example a private room.
  • Take on a small excess for a reduction in premium.
  • Check out the corporate plan equivalent of your own cover, they don’t suit everyone, but the benefits and pricing tend to be very attractive.
  • Look out for the special offers and review your cover annually to ensure it is up to date and competitive.

Why consider an advisor?

A good advisor can extract more value from the insurer by way of better plans, greater discounts and identifying built in unused benefits.

Last year a consumer survey revealed that Ireland’s over 30’s are now spending an average of €195 on GP visits every year.

Of those without health insurance, one in three (32%) are spending between €100 and €500 on visiting their GP every year. Alpha Health provide advice and information to consumers regarding their rights, health insurance plans and benefits.

 

If you would like any advice on Health Insurance, or to arrange a consultation, please contact Alpha Health by phone 021-2061780 or by email info@alphawealth.ie

 

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