'Insurance costs will make it harder for me to buy a house'
Gillian Howe has put off buying a home for now as she wants to do further study.
She is currently living with her parents in Youghal in Co Cork, but soon plans to move to Dublin to do more training.
She works in the ambulance service. An emergency medical technician with the HSE, she plans to begin studying to become a paramedic in May.
"Buying a home is definitely on the agenda at some stage, once I get college out of the way. But getting a deposit together is a real issue," she says.
In her early 30s, she says new penalties coming in next May that will penalise those who take out health insurance for the first time if they are over the age of 34 prompted her to sign up for a plan.
She opted for Laya Healthcare's Flex 250 Explore plan, which costs €982 a year.
Ms Howe says she chose for this plan as it covers public and private hospitals, with the Bon Secours in Cork covered, something that is important to her.
Had she not taken out private medical insurance before April 30, she would have been hit with lifetime community rating loadings, which would mean an additional payment on top of her premiums each year for her health insurance.
She has also recently taken out life insurance with Laya, opting for a plan that costs €11 a month.