With Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) coming into force after the 30th of April 2015 taking out a health insurance policy has never made more sense. But for broadcaster Síle Seoige, having health insurance has always been a simple choice!
“THERE’S a saying in Irish ‘ní le haon duine an lá amárach’ (no one knows what’s around the corner),” she says. “I’ve always had health insurance because I always felt it was a necessity rather than a luxury.” In 2012 Seoige was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She says that she was very glad to be covered during what was a very difficult time.
“Thankfully I have had many years that I haven’t needed to use my health insurance. But when I did I was very glad I had it. I wouldn’t have been able to pay for the level of treatment I received if I didn’t have health insurance in place. It would have been a lot more stressful.
“For me, health insurance is one of those things that I consider as important as having a roof over my head. We just don’t know what’s going to happen or how life is going to go. I would rather have a sense of security.”
LCR is a Government initiative designed to encourage people to take out private
health insurance before they turn 35 years of age. Anyone who does not take out private health insurance until after the age of 34, will be subjected to an extra 2 per cent fee or loading on their premium. This ‘loading’ will be applied for every year the individual is over the age of 34.
So if you are 37 and don’t sign up for private health insurance by the 30th of April, you will pay the premium plus an extra 6 per cent (3 years x 2 per cent) for each year you are over 34. And the bad news is that you will pay this extra 6 per cent cost every single year for ever more. A recent GloHealth survey of over 700 people who were born before 1985 revealed that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents said that they did not have confidence in the public health service to provide quick treatment should they become sick. However, almost one third (32 per cent) do not currently have private health insurance and a worrying 60 per cent of respondents were unaware of LCR, which comes into force after the 30th of April 2015. “It’s something that people need to educate themselves on,” says Seoige. “If you are over 34 and you don’t have health insurance you are going to have to pay extra. Why not get covered now and save the money? The older you are, the more you are going to have to pay. It’s a shame but the older we get, the more issues that are likely to arise, the more likely we need the cover. I would urge people to get covered before LCR kicks in.”
GloHealth recently unveiled a range of health insurance products, offering those taking out cover for the first time the most cost effective way to avoid the LCR penalty. GloHealth’s Base Plan is the cheapest private health insurance product in the market priced at just ¤1.05 a day when you buy online. “GloHealth offer great rates. That is why I am covered with GloHealth and delighted to be involved with this initiative. If you are in your mid 20s or 30s and you’re healthy you may think you don’t need it but I’d say go for the cover and if the worst does happen, you’re ok and you’re protected. The reality of modern life is that medical costs are high. I’d rather know that there’s a certain security blanket there if something does happen, God forbid.”
For more information on how to beat LCR visit BeatLCR.ie.
GloHealth Financial Services Ltd trading as GloHealth is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. GloHealth health insurance policies are underwritten by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) Plc