10 reasons to have Health Insurance

  1. Peace of mind and financial security for expensive private healthcare treatment and procedures
  2. Avoid long and time consuming public system waiting lists
  3. Insured for private and semi-private hospital accommodation
  4. Access to Private and HI-Tech Hospitals
  5. Reduction in day to day medical expenses such as GP visits
  6. Cover for in-hospital consultant services as a private patient
  7. Quality health screening offered
  8. Rapid access to diagnostics and scans in a wide number of Centres
  9. Psychiatric treatment and substance abuse cover
  10. Enhanced Maternity packages

A number of companies offer voluntary private health insurance in Ireland.

The Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI) is the largest provider of voluntary private health insurance. It is a statutory body whose board is appointed by the Minister for Health. Laya Healthcare, formerly QUINN-healthcare, Irish Life HealthGloHealth and HSF Health Plan (does not provide cover for hospital in-patient costs) also operate as voluntary private health insurance providers in Ireland. There are a number of long-established health insurance providers that deal only with particular groups of employees; membership is confined to employees and retired employees and their dependants. These schemes are known as restricted membership schemes. Examples include the Gardaí, prison officers and ESB employees. The rules governing health insurance apply equally to all providers with some limited exceptions for the restricted membership schemes.

Health insurance is used to pay for private care in hospital or from various health professionals in hospitals or in their practices.

The arrangements vary from one company to another but most companies have agreements with hospitals that the company will pay the hospital directly. In general, for outpatient costs you pay the health professional and then claim from the health insurance company. You should check with your own company as to exactly what procedures they use.

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