Wednesday 24 April 2019

Can you recommend a dental plan in addition to my health cover?

Your Questions

Cover for major treatments, such as crowns, is subject to a 12-month waiting period (stock photo)
Cover for major treatments, such as crowns, is subject to a 12-month waiting period (stock photo)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Q: I am thinking of taking out dental cover separately to my health insurance. Is there a long lead-in time before cover commences and what dental plans are recommended?

A: DeCare Dental provides a range of dental plans to suit a range of budgets. Cover for check-ups and cleanings is immediate, with routine treatment such as fillings and extractions subject to a three-month waiting period, according to Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie.

Cover for major treatments, such as crowns, is subject to a 12-month waiting period. He recommends that you consider the Healthy Smiles Level 3, or Level 4, schemes for good overall cover.

Also, cash plans such as those from HSF provide contributions towards dental (and optical cover). These benefits are subject to a three-month waiting period for dental cover and once you have exceeded your allowance for this benefit, you have to wait a further 12 months before the next tranche of dental cover commences.

For good individual cover, Mr Goode recommends you consider the One Scheme Level 3. With all these providers, it is recommended that you contact them directly to discuss your requirements and they will recommend the most appropriate plan to suit your needs.

Tell them exactly what treatment you are planning to have and they will confirm any waiting periods that have to be served and what refunds you will receive.

Q: I am thinking of buying an electric car, but I need to make sure it makes financial sense to do so. In the main, do insurers charge more or less in terms of premiums? Or would it have any impact on my premium?

A: To date, insurers have not really looked particularly favourably on electric cars, according to managing director at InsureMyCars.ie Jonathan Hehir.

They have priced them the same way they price other vehicles. However, of late, some insurers have said they would be positively predisposed to introducing discounts for electric-cars. Some brokers, with established connections with these insurers, are now able to secure discounts of up to 12pc for electric cars, Mr Hehir said.

As long as you go to the right provider, you should be able to get good value on your premium. If you do your research and shop around you can definitely get a good deal, he said.

Q: I am 66 years old on the same health insurance plan (B Options) for many years now. I have had a number of orthopaedic surgeries and may require more. Should I consider changing, and will all insurers take me on given my medical history?

A: The good news is that all insurers must take you on regardless of your medical history or any pending surgeries or medical treatment.

Once you have served all your waiting periods, they don't have to be re-served if you switch to an equivalent plan with another provider, according to Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie. Plan B Options (now called Health Plus Extra) is good cover but it is a dated plan and very expensive at €2,316 per adult, he said. Mr Goode recommends that you get your cover fully reviewed with an expert adviser to explore the latest corporate plans on the market which may give better overall cover but at a lower premium.

Q: I am a novelist. I released my first novel late last year and since then additional income has started to come in from the project and associated channels. I have heard about the Artist Exemption Scheme and was told that books are included in the categories of eligible works. Would acceptance to the scheme exempt me from paying tax on my book earnings for 2019?

A: There are a few common misconceptions around the Artist Exemption Scheme, in that many people believe that it applies to all art across all sectors.

This is not the case, according to the commercial director of Taxback.com Eileen Devereux. Income earned by creatives, a term which includes writers, visual artists, sculptors, and musicians for this purpose, is exempt from tax only under certain strict criteria. The piece must be original, and generally recognised by Revenue as having cultural or artistic merit, which they assess in accordance with a rigorous set of criteria laid down by the Arts Council of Ireland. If your application is successful, you will be issued with a certificate of tax exemption.

When it comes to insurance cover for an electric car, you should be able to get good value on your premium as long as you go to the right provider.

All health insurers must take you on regardless of your medical history or any pending surgeries or medical treatment.

Irish Independent

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