What happens if you cancel your insurance
Published 13/04/2010 | 05:00
IN terms of essential healthcare, you will still be covered by the public healthcare system if you decide to cancel your insurance.
If you don't have a medical card, you will be entitled to free public hospital services but will normally be expected to pay inpatient and outpatient hospital charges. But the reason many of us regard private health insurance cover as essential is because the public system remains under severe strain.
If you give up your cover but decide later to rejoin any one of the three health insurance firms, you will have to endure a waiting period of at least six months -- longer if you are over 55. This means a long gap between when you resume paying premiums and when your cover kicks in.
The other risk of cancelling your cover would be if you developed an illness before you were able to afford health insurance again. Health insurers are entitled to refuse cover for pre-existing conditions for up to five years if you are under 55.