Private health insurance or medical insurance is very common in Ireland. Around 50% of the population are covered by some sort of health or medical insurance. Health insurance is used to pay for private care in hospitals or from various health professionals in hospitals or in their practices.
There are currently 4 health insurance providers operating in ireland:-
The “Voluntary Health Insurance Board” (VHI) is the largest provider of private health insurance. It is a semi-state body whose board is appointed by the Minister for Health and Children.
Laya (Previously Quinn) is the second largest provider of voluntary private health insurance in Ireland –
A recent and fast growing arrival in the Irish health insurance market is Aviva –
GloHealth joined the growing list of health insurers in mid 2012. There must be money to be made in health insurance in Ireland.
You can switch health insurers at any time.
Private health Insurance will usually mean you get seen quicker by consultants and will possibly get a bed in a private room . The massive amount of different policies and options for health insurance can be very confusing.
What if you don’t have health insurance cover?
Any EU national or a person “ordinarily resident” in Ireland is entitled to the following :
a) All in-patient public hospital services in public wards, including consultant services, subject to certain charges. There is a daily charge of €75 for public hospital accommodation, up to a maximum limit of €750 in any consecutive 12 months.
b) All other out-patient hospital services, including consultants are free.
c) Maternity and Infant care services including the services of a GP during pregnancy and for up to six weeks after the birth are also free.
d) Accident and Emergency . If your doctor refers you, there is no charge. Otherwise it costs €100 per visit. Some health insurance policies cover will pay up to €60 of this A&E fee.
Medical card holders don’t have to pay any charges for hospitals or GPs
A visit to a GP will cost you around €40 to €60 euro if you have no GP Visit Card or Medical card – and some health insurance schemes will refund some of this fee.