To choose the right health insurance for Ireland, you must first know the local health system and how it works. As well as your rights as a foreigner in the country.
We explain how it all works, and how to choose the best value health insurance for Ireland to leave safely!
All About Personal Health Insurance in Ireland
Characteristics and Cost of Medical Care
The quality of care is generally satisfactory in Irish health establishments, whether they are public or private. Doctors often work in both sectors.
However, there are long waiting periods in the public sector, and higher prices in the private.
The fees for care and consultations are more expensive in Ireland than in other European countries. You should expect to pay around 50 euros for a general practitioner, and around 100 euros for a specialist.
Care provided during consultations (vaccinations, issuing of sick leave) is charged extra.
Health Insurance in Ireland: HSE vs Private Companies
Ireland is one of the European countries with the highest number of privately insured patients. About 40% of the population has personal health insurance in Ireland.
This is due to the often shorter waiting times in the private sector. As well as the limitations of the public medical system in Ireland, the HSE (Health Service Executive).
This system covers insured persons according to their income. Certain categories of the population (the poorest households, pregnant women, infants, people over 70 years old…) can benefit from a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card. It offers free access to certain medical care and follow-up.
However, many of them have to pay a significant amount of money for medical care and choose to take out private health insurance to benefit from better coverage.
Health Insurance in Ireland for Foreigners
Foreigners have access to the public medical system in Ireland, under certain conditions.
For short stays, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to be covered under the same conditions as the HSE beneficiaries. You won’t have to go through any prior procedure.
This health insurance in Ireland for foreigners may be enough for a simple medical problem. But an international policy is essential to face any other unforeseen event.
Expatriates can be affiliated to the HSE if they have been resident in Ireland for at least one year. Before that time, they must take out private insurance to be protected in case of accident or illness.
Like Irish nationals, expatriates affiliated with the HSE are well-advised to take out private health insurance anyways.
This increases your health cover, but it won’t exempt you from paying your HSE contributions.
What Is the Best Value Health Insurance for Ireland?
Personal Health Insurance in Ireland With Companies From Your Home Country
It is recommended to turn to a company based in your home country and specialized in international insurance. It’s the best way of getting good health insurance in Ireland.
It is a guarantee of seriousness and simplicity, The contract is governed by your home country’s insurance laws. And all the procedures and management are done in your language.
This type of contract also has the advantage of being specially designed for expatriates and their needs.
The coverage follows the insured wherever he/she travels outside of Ireland, including their home country.
It also includes guarantees such as legal assistance and repatriation. This is not an option with a local insurance contract.
1st Euro Contracts: A Highly Recommended Health Insurance in Ireland for Foreigners
The subscription of a 1st euro insurance is a very popular solution for expats coming to Ireland.
The quality-price ratio of these contracts is generally very satisfactory. They reimburse all expenses from the first euro incurred.
And there are numerous formulas in the market. It’s possible to find the most suitable coverage for each situation and all budgets.
Possible exclusions of coverage may be imposed at the end of the mandatory medical questionnaire. So it is strongly advised to compare several contracts before subscribing to one.
Social Security With Supplementary Health Insurance for Ireland
Your country’s Social Security might provide you with coverage under certain circumstances. It can be a good option for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Because no membership can be refused.
However, due to the low level of reimbursements (calculated according to the same scales and ceilings applied in your home country), Social Security alone cannot cover all health expenses in Ireland.
It is, therefore, necessary to consider taking out a supplementary insurance policy. They are managed by a private company. And it will increase the overall cost of the insurance.
But the good part is that it will allow you to benefit from better reimbursements and extended coverage.