5 Ways to Pay Less for Health Insurance – Without Reducing Cover

5 Ways to Pay Less for Health Insurance – Without Reducing Cover

5 Ways to Pay Less for Health Insurance – Without Reducing Cover

Renewals season is just around the corner, with around 1 million people due to renew their health insurance over the next few months. While it might be tempting to take the easy option of auto-renewing your current plan, you may end up paying over the odds for your health insurance if you don’t shop around and re-evaluate your personal needs at renewal.

With all three of Ireland’s providers introducing regular changes to both their pricing and their plans, the policy that was right for you in the past – even as little as one year ago – might not still be the best plan available to suit your needs.

To avoid paying too much for your policy and ensure it truly meets your personal needs and priorities, check out our top tips for reducing the cost of health insurance below.

1. Check Your Cover, and Your Needs, Every Year

The Irish health insurance market is volatile, with providers regularly amending, adding and withdrawing plans. So, even if your plan was perfect for you when you first took the policy out, there may now be a more suitable – and affordable – plan available to meet your personal health needs.

Check Your Cover, and Your Needs, Every Year

In fact, if you’ve been on the same plan for several years, the chances are you’re paying over the odds for your cover. Older plans are generally subject to annual price increases, while newer plans often have lower premiums – despite offering similar cover and benefits.

As a result, allowing your health insurance to auto-renew year-on-year can be extremely costly. With senior citizens generally being more likely to stay on the same plan for many years – either through fear of switching or lack of awareness of alternative options – many could be overpaying by as much as 50%, amounting to a massive €500-€1,000 a year in excess costs.

Don’t be afraid to change providers. As long as you don’t have a break in cover exceeding 13 weeks, you can directly change from one insurance provider to another without having to re-serve your waiting periods. Even if you’re in the middle of a longer waiting period for pre-existing conditions, your new insurer must honour the time you’ve already served, so you won’t have to reset the clock before being covered.

If you want to keep costs low, be sure to review your cover every year at renewal – and compare all plans available on the market to find the right one to suit you and your budget.

2. Choose the Right Cover for Your Stage of Life

Just as plan availability and pricing is changing constantly, so are your personal requirements. From young adult cover to maternity benefits, and from sports benefits to treatments needed later in life – such as cover for hip replacements – your needs will change throughout your lifetime.

And as your needs change, so should your health insurance.

By regularly reviewing your needs and cover, and comparing all plans on the market, you can ensure you’re only paying for the cover you really need – helping to keep costs low.

3. Get the Right Cover for the Whole Family

While you may have multiple people covered under a single health insurance policy, that doesn’t mean you all need to be on the same plan. For example, if you’re interested in enhanced mental health benefits, but your partner needs extra cover for physiotherapy and sports injuries, you can split your cover into personalised plans.

Get the Right Cover for the Whole Family

Not only will this ensure you have the right cover for your individual needs and priorities, but it will also help keep costs low as you’re only paying for the cover you really need.

Likewise, if you have children on your insurance, you can tailor their cover depending on their needs. So, if adults on the policy want cover for certain Cardiac treatment in high-tech hospitals, you can tailor a plan for your children to exclude this cover – since children would not require cover for these types of procedures.

Often, insurance providers will have special offers available for children, such as plans where premiums are only charged for one child while others are included in the policy for free. Generally, you should never have to pay more than 50% of your adult premiums to add a child to your policy, so be sure to compare what’s on offer across all plans before choosing the best one for your family.

4. Don’t Forget About Corporate Plans!

People often assume that corporate plans are only available through an employer or as part of a group – but, in fact, anyone can take out a corporate policy as an individual. Although these plans are usually released for large corporate clients, legally all plans must be made universally available to everyone.

Don't Forget About Corporate Plans

As a result, corporate plans often offer the best value for money. However, because these plans often have confusing names, they can be off-putting and even difficult to find for individuals – particularly since insurers are not obliged to tell customers about these plans.

So, if you’re looking for the best plan for the lowest cost, it may be helpful to speak with a health insurance broker for guidance – rather than speaking directly with your insurance provider.

5. Tailor Your Plan to Reduce Premiums

Once you’ve selected the right plan for you, you may be able to further reduce premiums by taking on a larger excess. These excesses only apply to private hospitals and most plans offer excesses on a per stay basis, rather than per night – so be sure to confirm how your plan’s excess works to ensure you won’t have to pay for each night you’re in hospital.

Tailor Your Plan to Reduce Premiums

This means that, should you require treatment in a private hospital, you will have to pay a larger chunk of the cost yourself before receiving the insurance benefit.

The right level of excess for you will heavily depend on your personal circumstances and budget. If you don’t have any existing conditions, and therefore feel unlikely to need much treatment, a larger excess may be the best way to keep costs low. However, if you don’t want to face a bigger bill in the event of sickness, a smaller excess with slightly higher premiums may be more suitable.

You may also be able to reduce your costs by removing everyday cover if you’re unlikely to need regular GP, physiotherapist or dentist visits or would prefer to cover these costs yourself. If you do choose to continue with everyday cover, be sure you understand exactly what you’re entitled to and submit your claims within the allowed timeframe.

Start Saving on Your Health Insurance!

Choosing a health insurance plan can be a minefield. We hope these tips help you get started on reviewing, scrutinising and comparing the 320+ plans available on the market to find the right one for your needs and budget.

At HCC.ie, we understand how overwhelming it can be to choose a new health insurance plan for you and your loved ones. It’s undoubtedly a reason why many people opt to auto-renew their policy year after year – often resulting in costs growing each year.

That’s why our dedicated team of health insurance experts are supporting people across Ireland to choose the right plan. Working closely with you to understand your priorities and ideal budget, we’ll compare all plans from Ireland’s three health insurance providers – Vhi, Laya and Irish Life Health – to find the best one for your family.

For expert health insurance support, get in touch with our friendly team of advisors today using the form below and we’d be happy to help!

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