Saturday 20 December 2014

Viable alternatives to healthcare plans on the market

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

Many consumers are now considering alternative healthcare plans as the cost of health insurance continues to soar.

Here are some options.

Cash plans

Medical cash or hospital cash plans have been on the market for some time.

They are not a substitute for health insurance but do provide excellent cover for everyday medical expenses such as GPs, prescriptions, consultations, physiotherapy, alternative practitioners, radiology, pathology, scans and other costs.

Some plans include a hospital cash benefit which gives you a cash grant for every night you are in hospital irrespective of whether you have health insurance or not.

HSF plans

HSF is one of the leading providers in the market and has a range of health cash plans to suit a range of requirements.

It now provides plans for both individuals and families which provide 100pc cover for many of the benefits listed above.

Unlike health insurance, a family-rate is all inclusive regardless of the number of children/students included on the plan.

Insurers offering cash plans

Competition has increased in this area with most health insurers now offering a range of cash plan options as well

VHI Healthcare has a range of Health Family and Health Individual cash plans.

Laya Healthcare offers a range of Money Smart plans for families and individuals as do GloHealth with their 'Hospital Care' options. Prices range from €123 to €1,056 per year depending on the plan or provider selected.

Dental Cover

Dental cover is now available from both DeCare Dental and VHI Healthcare for individual consumers.

These plans normally provide full cover for dental examinations; up to 70pc cover for extractions/fillings; and allowances for treatments such as crowns and some orthodontic cases.

Combinations

The existence of these plans means that medical cover is not just health insurance.

Many consumers are now combining health insurance with both dental and medical cash cover to give high-grade overall cover for all costs.

For those exiting health insurance completely, they may wish to consider either dental or medical cash cover for these expenses only.

Irish Independent

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