How these new rules will affect you
Well if you already have health insurance, they won’t affect you at all.
However, from 1st May 2015 if you are aged 35 or over when you first take out private health insurance you will pay an additional charge of 2% for each year that you are aged 35 and over, up to a maximum of 70% for those joining at age 69 or over.
Also from 1st May 2015, changes to the rules around waiting periods and pre-existing conditions will come into effect for anyone buying private health insurance for the first time or anyone renewing or upgrading their cover from 1st May 2015.
The definition for pre-existing conditions has been amended and waiting periods applying to pre-existing conditions have been standardised for all age groups to 5 years for new joiners and 2 years for cover upgrades.
The good news is that…
If you take out a private health insurance plan before you are over 35, you will avoid the additional charge on your premium for as long as you remain a paid up private health insurance customer.
There’s also good news for young adults
From the 1st May 2015, student rates will be replaced by Young Adult Rates. So after the 1st May 2015 if you are aged between 18 and 25, the price you pay will be based on your age and not on whether or not you are in full time education.
But if you are aged 35 and over and don't have health insurance
There are three things which may reduce your additional charge.
- Credit for periods in the past when you had private health insurance as an adult.
- Credit for periods, where in certain specified circumstances, you gave up your private health insurance due to unemployment.
- If you lived overseas on the 1st May 2015 and subsequently returned to Ireland, you will be entitled to a grace period of 9 months within which you can buy private health insurance without any age at entry loadings.
Find out more about how these special considerations may apply to you at www.hia.ie