Medical insurance in Dublin


Expats will find that health insurance in Ireland is a subject of great contention. In theory, there is a public health service with free (or almost free) access for EU and EEA residents, but in reality, long queues and lengthy waiting periods may make taking out private insurance a wise decision.
health insurance in ireland
This doesn’t mean that the public health system is of a lower standard – usually, the exact same consultant will be seen – but under the umbrella of private health insurance, patients can see that consultant in the immediate future rather than the next decade.

If needing medical treatment in Ireland, the local General Practitioner or GP is the first port of call. If something is seriously wrong, the GP will refer the patient to a hospital. There the choice is usually offered between public and private treatment and is usually based on the seriousness of the patient's condition. So a patient with a broken leg could be safely treated in the public system, but if the patient has a terminal illness, then private treatment is usually recommended.

Pre-existing conditions are not covered by insurance companies in Ireland, so it's best to register with a provider sooner rather than later.

Irish Health Insurance Companies

Most employers will offer a health insurance plan for expats relocating to Ireland which should cover the expat and their family. It’s important to examine the policies and premiums and evaluate if the insurance is a good fit before accepting. Ireland's health insurance providers are:
  • VHI
  • Laya Healthcare
  • Irish Life Health
  • HSF Health Plan

Costs for each of the different plans vary tremendously depending on the acceptance of different excesses, preference for private or public hospitals, the number of children that are dependents, and what the family's health priorities are.

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