If you are planning on staying in Ireland, you might want to get private health insurance.

The main private health insurance companies are AvivaVHI and Laya Healthcare and GloHealth. If you have health insurance policy, it can mean that you get priority when it comes to healthcare for non-medical emergencies such as routine operations, x-rays or scans. While health insurance can be expensive, it is worth the money!

Choosing the best health insurance policy for you

The health insurance options can seem overly complicated but the Health Insurance Authority has a place where you can compare companies and the plans that they offer relatively easily. When you choose your health insurance plan, you can pay the cost in monthly instalments by direct debit or pay the full amount upfront. Either way, you can usually cancel the plan if things change  and if you have paid the amount in full, you can ask for a refund for the months you won’t use.

Things to look out for when buying health insurance

Do you want a private room in a hospital, full maternity cover or are you more concerned with your insurance policy covering daily expenses such as physiotherapy and GP visits? Some plans will reimburse you at the end of the year, upon presentation of receipts, for a portion of day-to-day health expenses. If you are someone who tends to spend a lot of time in the doctor’s waiting room then this might be a good idea for you!

Keep your receipts

Once you have joined a plan and paid the money, make sure you keep your receipts for any medical expenses. You can send these away at the end of the year, if they haven’t already been paid directly by the health insurance company, and you would be surprised at how much you get reimbursed! You’ll have make your claim within a specified time period, usually one month after your policy ends.