Sunday 19 November 2017

Take on an excess to make health cover affordable

Medical Drama: Edie Falco in the starring role as Nurse Jackie
Medical Drama: Edie Falco in the starring role as Nurse Jackie
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

FAMILIES can save thousands of euro on their health insurance if they are prepared to pay a portion of any claim for treatment.

The savings could mean families thinking of ditching their cover could afford to stay insured.

All four health insurers offer policies with large excesses, but these plans are better value.

The excess is the amount of a claim you pay before the insurer picks up the cost.

Taking on an excess and accepting co-payments are desperate measures, but then, health insurance hikes have been excessive.

All four of our health insurers offer policies with large excesses – but these plans are better value, according to Dermot Goode of Healthinsurancesavings.ie.

Mr Goode advises that if you are prepared to reduce the number of hospitals you are covered for, or maybe take on excesses and/or co-payments for private hospital treatments only, then you might be able to reduce your costs considerably.

A co-payment is where the insured person has to share the cost of the claim.

VHI, Laya, Aviva and GloHealth have responded to the succession of premium hikes by launching new options that are cheaper than typical family policies, but some of the cost of a claim is passed to the policyholders.

The higher the excess you accept, the bigger the savings, Mr Goode added.

Take VHI's One Plan 500, which will cost a family of two adults and two children €1,842 a year.

It covers a semi-private room in a public hospital and private hospitals.

But for all private hospital admissions, there is a €500 excess for the first two in-patient stays.

And the plan has restricted cover for certain orthopaedic and ophthalmic procedures in private hospitals.

Laya's Advantage 500 Explore plan will cost the family of two adults and two children €1,753, the health insurance expert said.

The plan covers a private room in all public hospitals and a semi-private room in most private hospitals.

However, the plan has a €500 excess per claim in a private hospital, including per day case procedure.

Aviva's First Focus Plan will cost a family of two adults and two children €2,180.

The plan covers a limited network of public and private hospitals.

But there is a €150 excess per episode of care for treatment in a private hospital.

GloHealth's Net Most 500 plan will cost a two-adult, two-children family €1,792 a year.

The plan covers a network of public and private hospitals.

There is a €500 excess for overnight stays in private hospitals, and a €50 excess for day-case procedures in private and hi-tech hospitals.

There is no cover for Blackrock Clinic.

A €2,000 co-payment applies on listed orthopaedic procedures in private hospitals.

These policies might be worth considering.

Twitter: @CWeston_Indo

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