• Be Health Insurance Wise

    In 2014 new legislation was introduced - charging private patients up to €813 a day to stay in a public hospital bed. Now, we are seeing the impact. Find out more below
  • Let's Be Frank

    Health insurance should be simple and transparent. Unfortunately, it's often the opposite. Complex policies full of confusing jargon. And let's not forget the hidden costs.

    We'd all be better off if we spoke plain English. So we decided to build a website to help everyone understand health insurance a little better.

    There are lots of things for us to discuss.

    Let’s start with the most important one. Do you need health insurance? You’ll get a clearer picture of whether or not you need cover in the Choosing Your Policy section. It explains all the things you need to think about when considering health insurance.

    You’ll also find information on this website about everything that gets wrapped up in the cost of health insurance.

    One such issue is public hospital bed charges, first introduced in 2014, which involves a fundamental change in the way public hospitals charge private health insurers. Previously, health insurers were charged up to 10 times the overnight accommodation rate if their member was accommodated in a semi-private or private room. Now, all privately insured patients are being asked to sign a Public Hospital Waiver Form when admitted to hospital via A&E, effectively waiving their right to be treated publically and in so doing agreeing to be charged up to €813 a night, that’s 10 times the cost, regardless of whether they secure a semi-private or private bed or not.

    The most important thing is to know your rights as a private patient when being admitted to a public hospital and to ask one key question before signing the waiver form: “what additional services and benefits will I receive if I sign and waive my right to be treated publicly?” See here for additional important information to understand before you sign the form.

    Another major cost factor which impacts on the cost of health insurance is the Government Health Levy, which adds up to €444 to the cost of your insurance. In addition, most people are unaware that the cut in tax relief on health insurance in Budget 2014 increased the cost of their health insurance.

    There’s other stuff too that we’d like to explain like Lifetime Community Rating.

    But don’t let us hog the stage. If there are topics you’d like us to talk about, please get in touch.

    We’d also love to hear what you think about the healthcare system in Ireland. As leading providers of Health, Travel Insurance and Life Insurance in Ireland we love to hear your opinions on how we and the insurance industry can best meet your needs.

    Research conducted to gauge the level of understanding and attitudes of the public on the Public Beds Re-designation Charge

    unaware that the Private Insurance Patient Form asks insurance holders to waive their right to public treatment
    unaware that private patients can be charged over 10 times the public rate for the same treatment
    say it’s unacceptable for health insurance holders to pay twice for treatment in public hospitals
    of those with health insurance considered this practice unacceptable
    Research conducted by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Insurance Ireland. Conducted amongst 1,000 adults aged 18+ between 3-16 January 2017.
    The Health Levy
    Public Bed Charges
    Lifetime Community Rating

    Public Bed Charges

    Every Irish citizen is entitled to be treated in our public hospitals as a public patient at a maximum charge of €80 per night (up to a maximum charge of €800 in any 12-month period), a cost that will be fully covered by your health insurance.

    Since 2014 however, privately insured patients have to pay to use the public healthcare system, often whether or not they are given private facilities or get a choice of consultant. An unfair situation when you think that, just like everyone else, they have already contributed to public healthcare through their taxes, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge.

    Private patients being admitted through a public A&E will be asked to sign a Private Patient Insurance Form (waiver form) that allows the hospital admit them as a private patient rather than a public patient, but with potentially no additional services or benefits. Signing this waiver means that the private patient’s insurer pays up to €813 for each night of their stay in hospital instead of €80. That’s over 10 times the cost.

    It’s important that you understand your rights as a private patient, if you’re being asked to choose to be treated as a private patient, you should ask what additional services and benefits you’ll receive if you waive your rights to be treated publicly. Ask this question to ensure you’re making an informed decision before you sign.

    The Health Levy

    In Ireland, we all pay the same amount of money for the same level of private health cover. It doesn't matter how old we are. The Health Levy was introduced by the Government to help some insurers with the higher costs of claims from older members. More

    Lifetime Community Rating

    So you’ve heard the term Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) and you’re wondering what does this mean for me and how will it affect the cost of my health insurance? There’s a real saving if you take out your first healthcare insurance before you turn 35. Avoid paying more for being over 34.

    Join the Discussion

    I thought the real high prices for health insurance were down to the health insurance companies just being pure greedy but they're probably not actually making much of a margin out of it EMILY, DUBLIN
    A lot of people stress out about paying health insurance because their take‐home pay has gotten so slight. If you take a salary today versus what you would've brought home 10 years ago there's a big difference. It's amazing CHRISTOPHER, LIMERICK