James is lucky enough to have a boss who is footing the bill for his private health insurance.
We asked the private health insurance expert Dermot Goode (inset) of money-saving site healthinsurance-savings.ie to have a look at James' plan – Laya Healthcare's Company Care Excess – and tell us how good he felt it was.
"James is insured on an excellent corporate plan – it covers public and private hospitals and includes cover for routine medical expenses such as GP and physiotherapy," said Mr Goode. "This plan also includes limited cover for the three hi-tech hospitals (Mater Private, Blackrock Clinic and Beacon Hospital) – that is, full cover for the listed major cardiac and day-case procedures, subject to a €200 excess per admission." (Excess is the first part of a claim you must pay yourself.)
As James' employer is paying for his private health insurance, his boss must charge him benefit-in-kind tax on the full cost of the plan. "James can claim back a fifth of this benefit-in-kind tax in tax relief directly from the Revenue Commissioners," said Mr Goode. "James can submit tax relief claims going back four years if he hasn't done this already."
While James holds good cover, Mr Goode believes his boss could get a sim-ilar plan for a cheaper price. "There are updated versions in the market, which will offer similar benefits and generate savings for his employer and for James – as there will be a corresponding reduction in James' benefit-in-kind charge," said Mr Goode. One of the alternative plans recommended by Mr Goode for James' employer to consider is Laya's Total Health Complete.