There are three types of hospitals in Ireland. Public hospitals (like Beaumount, Cappagh Orthopaedic, Cork University Hospital). Private hospitals (Bons Secours, St Vincent's Private, Galway Clinic) and hi-tech hospitals (Mater Private, Blackrock Clinic).
The most popular plans on the market cover both public and private hospitals, and may also give access to 'hi-techs', for listed procedures like cardiac and neurological.
All plans cover for a semi-private room in a public hospital. The most expensive plans cover you for a private room in a hi-tech hospital. Most people choose a plan covering them for treatment in a semi-private room in private hospitals.
A good rule of thumb is if you visit everyday practices (like GPs, physios or dentists) over 4 or 5 times a year it’s worth covering them on your plan, even though it might be more expensive at first.
Most plans now carry some excess for treatment in private hospitals. Taking on a higher excess might save on your annual premium
Everyone wants quality for less. But realistically quality cover doesn't exist under €1,000 per year per adult. Health insurance expert Dermot Goode advises quality cover costs at least €100 per month (or €1,200 yearly).
You can insure different family members under the one policy, but under different plans, depending on their needs. What is best for you may differ from what’s best for your children, or partner. Putting different family members on different plans can keep your policy cost effective.