Monday 22 December 2014

Cost of staying healthy enough to make you ill

Health insurance: costs ever rising

The price of keeping well was never more expensive – but where does our out-of-pocket spending on health needs go?

Top of the list is private health insurance, followed by drugs bills and then fees paid out to various medical specialists and therapists.

A recent breakdown of our annual household spending on health was given in a parliamentary reply to Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain.

* Private health insurance €1.67bn

* Prescribed medication €626m.

* Medical services (physiotherapist, orthodontist, consultant, etc) €335m.

* Dentist €315m.

* Doctor (not consultant) €249m.

* Hospital charges (net of insurance refunds) €112m.

* Spectacles and lenses €103m.

* Services of private medical auxiliaries (eg chiropodist) €52m.

* Optician €28m.

* Other medical products (plasters, bandages, etc) €17m.

* Therapeutic equipment – non optical items (eg wheelchair) €8m.

* Other non-hospital services €3m.

* Prescription charges for medical card holders amounted to €27.6m, €29.7m and €85.0m for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Estimated annual expenditure is based on grossing up the survey data for the full year and the total population.

Health & Living

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