With over 325 health insurance plans available on the market, it can be challenging to find a suitable plan to cover your family’s needs. We’ve put together some top tips to consider when next renewing your health insurance:
Split Your Cover
It often doesn’t make financial sense for all family members to be insured on the same health insurance plan. Did you know that each member can be insured on different plans yet remain on the same policy? This allows you to choose separate plans depending on each family member’s individual needs and their life stage which could help to reduce your costs.
Avail of kid’s offers
It is important to remember that young children will not be treated in hi-tech hospitals such as the Blackrock Clinic or the Mater Private. Therefore a plan which offers cover for these hospitals may not be suitable for a child. However, by putting children on a different plan which is relevant to their needs, you may be able to reduce your costs. Also, it is worthwhile shopping around as some of the insurers provide half price kids’ offers on different plans throughout the year.
Take on an excess
Health insurance plans that offer a higher excess allows you the option of saving money on your premium. An excess is the first part of the bill you will have to pay when making a claim on your health insurance. If your current plan does not have any excess and you are looking at ways to reduce your costs, then you could consider introducing a small excess. This could range anywhere from €50 to €150 per private hospital admission. Each of the insurers currently have plans on offer which include excesses of up to €500 for in-patient private hospital admissions. It is worth checking out what’s on offer.
Calculate day to day medical expenses
It can be beneficial to claim money back on your health insurance for day-to-day expenses such as GP, physio, dentist and specialist consultant fees. If you have 4 or more of these types of visits in any one year, then it may make financial sense to include this type of cover on your plan. You should sit down and do the maths at renewal to weigh up how much you are able to claim back on such expenses versus the added cost to the premium of your policy.
Cut out unnecessary cover
Health insurance plans can vary considerably in the level of cover which they provide. Not all benefits may be of relevance to you, therefore it is important to establish what exactly you require before choosing a plan. For example, if you live in Cork or Galway, then you may not wish to travel to the Beacon Hospital in Dublin. In this instance, you may feel that a plan which includes this type of cover is unnecessary for your needs. Similarly, the level of maternity cover provided on health plans varies considerably. So it is also useful to understand what benefits you don’t require and choose a plan without these benefits to help you reduce your costs.
Avail of young adult rates
Young Adult Rates have replaced student discounts and the good news is that the individual no longer has to be in full time or part time education to avail of this offer. You can avail of a Young Adult Rate if you are aged between 18 to 25 years of age or if you have a dependent that fits within this age category. However, it is important to note, that not all health insurance plans offer these discounted rates for young adults; therefore you should ask your insurer/broker for the best value plan for young adults that matches their needs.
Ask about corporate plans
Corporate plans are developed specifically for large company schemes, however any person can avail of these plans - all you have to do is ask! These provide a strong level of cover for private and hi-tech hospitals. In some instances, they can also include maternity benefits which allow members to claim back on certain fertility treatments such as IVF, IUI and ICSI. At your next renewal, ask about corporate plans to see if this type of plan offers you the cover you need at a price that suits your budget.