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'Thinking of cancelling your cover? Don't do it'

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Many older members may consider cancelling when they receive their next renewal notice

Many older members may consider cancelling when they receive their next renewal notice

Many older members may consider cancelling when they receive their next renewal notice

"Big mistake - don't," says Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie.

Many older members may consider cancelling when they receive their next renewal notice.

Others may become entitled to a medical card and may think they don't need their private cover anymore.

Unfortunately, access to public hospitals is not improving and many people are on waiting lists for operations such as hip and knee replacements.

The only way to bypass these queues is with private health cover or to pay yourself which is not an option for most people.

Also, if you are over 65 and you cancel your cover, you will have to re-serve all your waiting periods all over again - for example, no cover for the first two years for any new conditions or no cover for the first 10 years for any pre-existing conditions.

For those who qualify for medical cards, this only gives you access to free public hospital treatment and certain primary care treatments.

However, it doesn't get you off a waiting list and bear in mind that these cards can be withdrawn as we all know.

"My advice to older members is look at every alternative policy first before cancelling your cover. If in doubt, get quality advice from someone you trust," Mr Goode said.

Irish Independent