What is a waiting period?
Waiting periods apply to anyone purchasing health insurance for the first time. You will be covered for accidents or injuries immediately, but not illnesses. If you think about it, it makes sense to apply waiting periods for existing illnesses, otherwise we wouldonly take out health insurance when we get sick! So now the most important part is to understand what the waiting periods are…. Accident or Injury – No Waiting Period New Conditions – 26 Weeks Pre-Existing Conditions - 5 Years Maternity/Infertility Benefits - 52 Weeks Upgrade Waiting Period - 2 Years New Conditions are illnesses that develop after you take out the policy. A pre-existing condition will be an ailment, illness or condition where the signs or symptoms existed at any time in the period of 6 months prior to the insurance commencing. An ‘upgrade waiting period’ of 2 years is applied if you are switching to a plan with a higher benefit and you have an existing condition at the time of the upgrade. Infants born to policyholders will not serve a waiting period if they are added to a policy within 13 weeks of their date of birth.
How does my outpatient excess work?
An outpatient excess applies to everyday medical expenses. It is the amount that must be reached before you can claim money back from your insurer. This can be confusing, and a lot of members think they may be entitled to money back when unfortunately, they are not. For example, if you were on a plan with a €100 outpatient excess and the amount shown on your table of cover for GP visits is 50%, if you had 2 GP visits at €60 each, members would think that since you spent €120, they would be able to claim €20 back..
What is an excess?
An excess is the first part of any insurance claim that you have to pay yourself. An inpatient excess is the amount you pay on private hospital claims. The higher the excess, the lower your health insurance premium will be. The excess is per stay not per night, unless stated otherwise. So, if you see €150 per claim on your policy and you stay in private hospital for a week, you pay the first €150 only and your insurer will pay the rest.
Can I buy a corporate plan even though I am not an employee?
Yes. Corporate plans are available to all regardless of whether you are an employee or not.
Can I change/cancel my plan mid-year?
All health insurance contracts are a 12-month contract. The rule of thumb is that you cannot cancel your policy mid-contract however, some companies may allow you to cancel and will charge you a cancellation fee based on the government levy. All insurers must provide a 14-day cooling off period from the commencement of the contract, during which time you may cancel the policy without penalty. No claims will be paid in respect of these 14 days if you do cancel the policy.
Can I claim tax relief on my health insurance?
Private health insurance premiums are subject to income tax relief at source. The tax relief (of 20% premium) is restricted to €1,000 gross premium in respect of adults and to €500 gross premium for children and full-time dependent students aged 18 – 21.