Finding a health insurance plan that meets your needs can be overwhelming, especially when the price of health insurance can be anywhere from €500 to €4,000. With so many different price points and plans on the market it can be difficult to understand what is a suitable level of cover for your needs & budget.
We've put together the following guide to give you an overview of what you can expect to pay* for different levels of cover.
Cost of health insurance in Ireland:
- Entry Level Plan - between €500 - €650 per year
- Basic Public & Private Cover with High Excess Plans - between €700 - €1,000 per year
- Quality Public & Private Corporate Plans - between €1,200 - €1,500 per year
- Private Room in Private Hospital Plans – between €1,500 - €1,800 per year
- Full Cover in Hi-Tech Hospital Plans - between €2,400 - €4,000 per year
What to expect with entry level plans:
At between €500 - €650 per year, these basic plans typically provide public hospital cover only. While certain plans may include some level of private hospital cover, it's a good idea to check exactly how much. For the most part, private hospital cover will never be more than 66%, which could mean you get a significant bill after a private hospital stay. With these entry level plans, out-patient scans at approved centres will be covered but money back on GP visits or other day-to-day expenses will not.
What to expect with basic public & private cover with high excess plans:
These plans cost between €700 - €1,000 per year and feature full cover in public and private hospitals (semi-private room), although private hospital cover could come with a large excess, as much as €600 in some cases. Be sure to check exactly which private hospitals are covered; think about hospitals that could be important to you in the future. Typically, these plans won't cover treatment in hi-tech hospitals like Blackrock Clinic or Mater Private and they won't include cover for everyday visits to GPs and physios. For keen travellers or those planning a family bear in mind these plans may provide only limited maternity and overseas cover.
What to expect with quality public & private corporate plans:
At between €1,200 - €1,500 per year these plans are the most popular and diverse on the market. They offer cover for a private room in a public hospital and a semi-private room in a private hospital. Again, there will be an excess to pay but it is likely to be at an affordable €75 - €200 for in-patient stays and less for day-case treatments. Within this range of plans you will see what are called corporate plans, and here is where you can tap into some good value options. In some cases, you could find a corporate plan that offers access to hi-tech hospitals for listed day case, cardiac and other specialist procedures. You may also be able to claim 50% money back on day-to-day GP or consultant visits.
What to expect with private room in private hospital plans:
These plans come in between €1,500 - €1,800 per year and provide cover for public and private hospitals, but with the added benefit of a private room in a private hospital. You will also benefit from a lower excess charge, typically between €50 - €150 and you can claim as much as 75% of your everyday medical expenses back with some plans.
What to expect with full cover in hi-tech hospital plans:
These plans are the highest level of cover available on the market and cost between €2,400 - €4,000. They are the only plans that offer full cover in hi-tech hospitals for all in-patient treatment. Most of these plans will not carry an excess for private hospital admission but make sure to double check this as some of the plans on the lower end of this scale may have a small excess. It's also a good idea to check if the plan you're considering covers day-to-day medical expenses as not all of these plans do.
Cornmarket top tip!
All members on your plan do not need to be on the same cover, so remember to choose a plan that meets each person's particular needs and time of life. For example, if you have children under the age of 18, you can access preferential rates of under €220 per child and most health insurance plans will also have a young adult discount for members aged between 18-25.
There are many factors at play with health insurance and many pitfalls. The key is to take your time when considering the best plan for you. Have a list of what you absolutely require and make sure that any plan you choose provides that. Of course, health insurance plans do change regularly so we recommend taking the time to speak with an expert every year before your renewal date to make sure you are getting the best value for money.
* All pricing indicative and correct from 1st February 2022, source Health Insurance Authority (www.hia.ie). Pricing is not inclusive of any Lifetime Community Rating Loading. Cornmarket cannot be held responsible for information contained in external websites