Time for a checkup

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Do not forget that there is a 14 day cooling off period when you sign up for a new font
Do not forget that there is a 14 day cooling off period when you sign up for a new policy. Take note of one of the discounted deals for children under 18 years old.

This is the peak time of health insurance renewals. Nearly 400,000 customers are expected to renew their services this month and close to one million by the end of March. The good news is that the market has stabilized compared to previous years and that the three insurers offer excellent offers tailored to all budgets of consumers.

But how do I know if I'm over insured or paying too much?

You pay too much if you have the same plan for three years or more. Another sign that you pay too much is if you have the whole family on the same plane.

Do not subscribe to a business plan with guaranteed reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses can be a sign that you pay too much, just like not considering taking a small surplus when you make a claim in a private hospital .

Not being aware of discounted deals for children under 18 and paying the full adult fare for dependents aged 18 to 24 are other signs of paying too much. And you risk paying too much if your annual premium is more than € 1,800 per adult for your coverage.

Dermot Goode from TotalHealthCover.ie warns consumers not to fall into the trap of "automatic renewal", which allows outdated coverage to simply be postponed for another year without checking all options.

"Do not forget that you have 14 days after the date of your renewal to change or even cancel your coverage, called a cooling-off period," he says.

People should not be afraid to change insurers. Consumers are fully protected by health care legislation with respect to switching providers.

This means that insurers must take care of you, regardless of your medical history or your current surgeries.

And you get a full credit for the time spent with previous insurers. In other words, if you have already served your pre-existing waiting periods, you do not have to meet them.

If you already have health insurance, no new age bracket will apply, says Goode.

"The only questions the insurer will ask are: what is the name of your current plan and how long do you have this coverage without interruption?" If you are satisfied with the price and benefits of the new plan, change as you would for a car or home insurance. "

So, what are the best deals for families? Mr. Goode stated that Vhi offered a 25% discount on 15 plans, including all of his single plan programs, his Select Plan for Nurses and Teachers, and his Excess Plan for Parents and Children.

This applies to children under 18 years of age.

Irish Life Health continues to offer what Mr Goode has described as excellent for his Nurture plan at 160 euros per child and his Select Plus scheme at 180 euros each.

The Better Active also proposes, according to him, good hospital coverage at € 239 per child.

Laya has launched a three-tier free cover offering, Essential Health 300, Flex 125 Explore and their Essential Connect family.

If you put both children in the Essential Health 300 program, you will save $ 235 for the second child, he says.

What are the best semi-private business plans yet? For those looking for quality coverage including guaranteed reimbursements on out-of-pocket expenses without excess to pay first, the chart above includes a sample of the best packages available today.

What are the best business plans for private accommodation in private hospitals?

More and more consumers want access to a private room in private hospitals (where applicable), including a guaranteed reimbursement of out-of-pocket patient fees, with no additional overpayment. In the past, these schemes could cost up to 3,000 euros per adult, but with the increased competition in the market, excellent options are now available for a fraction of that cost, as shown in the second chart above.

There is no problem dividing the blanket. This involves placing adults in one of these private room plans and passing the children to one of the special offers or a semi-private business plan.

How to change … health insurance

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Take note of one of the discounted deals for children under 18 years old

STEP 1 Determine the name of your current plan and the amount of your renewal premium (for example, Level 1 Family Plan, Laya Flex 125 Explore). Decide what your budget is this year.

2ND STEP Visit the Health Information Authority's website, hia.ie, and use its comparison tool to compare this plan with others in the market, side by side.

STEP 3 Talk to your insurer or a broker. Ask them, "What is your best plan for my budget and include all your business plans?" If you are considering upgrading or downgrading your plan, it will be worth telling them. They can also inform you about possible reductions available, possible premium reductions, for example by increasing your surpluses, or alternative formulas that may offer you more benefits for the same premium.

STEP 4 You can also call your health insurance company and ask for the equivalent plan closest to the one you are currently on. Emphasize that you want them to review all plans, including the company's options.

Savings potential: 300 €

Total time: One o'clock

Irish independent