Been considering it lately. Work pays for mine, the rest of the family comes to almost 2k a year. It’s a decent enough plan - covers GP visits and dental - but far exceeds our requirements these past few years and money is tight. However - I have a superstitious fear that if I give it up we will immediately be struck with medical calamity and will deeply regret it. I’ve heard that many people have given up their health insurance which is putting more and more strain on our creaking system but on the other hand, the whole private thing is a total con as you have exactly the same equipment, staff, facilities with a bit of queue jumping and nicer curtains.
To be honest I’m a net recipient of income from insured patients in public hospitals.
In my specific case I do not treat public or private patients any differently.
If you are fit and well, don’t bother paying for private insurance.
If you have a chronic medical condition it’s better to have it as your care will be better.
Due to the “community rating” you are not discriminated against for preexisting conditions. so if you develop oen take out insurance pay the extra for the year and then you are covered.
If you are in a serious accident or have a very acute condition you will get the same treatment if you are public or private.
Personally I’ve never taken out med insurance for me or my family.
Save the money in an account, self insure. Ie put what you would pay on deposit and don’t touch it. If you don’t get sick then you have a nice pot of cash at the end of each year. If you do get sick you have a fund to cover you until you pass the delay period for when insurance kicks in.
At the end of the day we actualy do have a health care system that works well for acute and emergency conditions. Chronic conditions and non acute illness is best covered privately.
Getting rid of private insurance is not going without healthcare like it would be in the US
Myself and the wife have just given up our near 20 year health insurance.
But we do live in the UK where healthcare is comprehensive and free.
The reasons for dong this were twofold
the recent birth of a child on the NHS was carefree, painfree and cost free.
the recent usage of private health facilities for myself for a longstanding sports injury (from my youth) was quick and very expensive; Naturally my healthcare preimums didnt cover any such an eventuality.
I calculated that I’ve paid in about 10k in premiums and for a total cost of about 1500 in private fees only 300 was covered.
Bye, bye private healthcare, hello savings of 200 per month.
A few years ago there was talk (by the Health Insurance Authority) of ‘late-entry’ loading. This would mean that people who signed up, say, after 40 years of age would pay an entry fee to join the market. The thinking was that these people hadn’t been part of the ‘community’ during the period when they would have been net contributors.
However, if you’re in your 20s/30s/40s you might be consider not having health insurance until universal health insurance is introduced. This is supposed to happen in 2020 - which, of course, it will not - but at some point in the next decade or two we will all have mandatory health insurance (paying in according to means; taking out according to need) and late-entry loading will probably be irrelevant.
Of course, if you’re in your 60s or 70s and have paid into VHI all your life it would be much harder to give up when you need it most. Waiting for universal health insurance isn’t really a sensible option for that age bracket.
My experience of having private health insurance is that you get seen significantly quicker by consultants when you need to see them and get treated significantly quicker. Its disgusting but true. That fact alone would make me extremely reluctant to give up private health insurance. I don’t have a life where hanging around at home, ill and in pain, without being able to work or properly take care of my children, potentially for months on end, is an option. We are cutting away at a range of household expenditure bit by bit and have reduced our coverage down to a very basic plan but maintaining some sort of cover is as, if not more, important to me than paying the mortgage.
You also need to potentially factor in mental as well as physical illness. If you think private care is simply a matter of nicer curtains, pay a visit sometime to a public psychiatric in-patient facility and decide whether you would be happy to have a member of your family treated there. And, while you are at it, have a look at the waiting lists for someone diagnosed with moderate to severe depression or moderate biploar or alcoholism by their GP to see a psychiatrist publicly.
I would certainly have a read of ‘Irish Apartheid: Healthcare Inequality in Ireland’ by Sara Burke before making a final decision.
X 1000 You can get sicker and sicker or die on waiting lists here. Having witnessed several relatives suffer it the last thing I would give up. I am in good health now because I had a speedy diagnosis and treatment on my insurance. Otherwise I would still be waiting. Remember your health can change very quickly… Oh and do read the above book
It was pointed out to me recently that there are no private hospitals for children so private health insurance for kids is a scam. So anything critical will be seen irrespective of insurance cover. Time to get rid?
+1. Better to spend the money on partaking in as much physical activity that your kids can handle. Take them swimming once a week, buy some bicycles (and use them), climb a mountain, join a club. The best investment in a person’s health is made by showing them how wonderful it is to be active. The younger the better.
No but there are lots of private consultants who will see your child quicker than a public waiting list. That’s what I pay for, not a private room.
And I can assure you that “anything critical” will not be seen regardless of cover. I’m hugely surprised that anyone believes that.
Being healthy and active is wonderful. But it will not stop cancer or a birth defect or any multitude of things that can aflict our children.
Ned Flanders didnt like insurance either. I was considering dropping it but never got around to it. I know perfectly well that the treatment I received in surgery would have been no different if I had been a public patient, but the comforts for a three week stay in a private room for me made the cost well worth it. I dont mean that in a snobbish way at all, but was able to deal with mails in peace and quiet and generally be pretty chillaxed. Best headspace I’ve had in years TBH.
Re the children, we’re net positive as although there are no private hospitals, there are private systems to bypass waiting lists for other things. Things with kids may not be life threatening, but can be pretty stressful waiting for them to be dealt with.
Anyone who reads through my posts can work out that I am a consultant in the Irish health care system.
There is no doubt that there are certain conditions that you are far better off going private for.
I generally make the distinction between chronic (cancer, diabetes, chrons disease etc) basically any condition that requires you to regularly see a doctor.
Acute conditions broken bones, appendicitis, car crash etc generally the things that younger people get where you see a doctor once or twice and then get better I honestly don’t believe that the treatment is any different public or private.
Obstetrics is a curious case. Go fully private say in Mt Carmel you actually get worse treatment than in the public system but nicer curtains. If you get sick there you have to transfer to one of the public hospitals, they have no neonatology or pediatricians so if you have a sick baby they also have to be transferred. Go private in a public hospital is better and your care probably will be better again particularly if you have a chronic condition and particularly if you are due in Jan or July when the Junior doctors change over.
We have 3 kids and we went pubic with them all. My wife used her maiden name so that no one would know she was my wife. (ie no favors)
One of my kids has been to Crumlin twice for acute conditions and treated well.
We have never had med insurance.
The first sign of any chronic condition I’ll be buying insurance, meanwhile we save the money.
I said it before: we are not the US so its not like having no insurance means no healthcare
Friend saw a consultant yesterday and is scheduled for gall bladder removal next Wednesday. Doesn’t have much discomfort, wasn’t in a hurry, so was surprised to get such an close surgery date. She thinks it may be as a result of an appreciable fall in the number of privately insured patients.
Thats the unique thing in Ireland, no conditions are excluded per-existing or other wise. That is not the case in the US where preexisting conditions can be excluded.
The whole point of community rating was that people would not be excluded because of pre-existing conditions. Its actually bizarre insurance ie the riskier you are the more you benefit from the system as you cant be discriminated against.
Disclaimer: Please ignore my advice and take out more insurance as it helps my income.