Feeling comfortable in the knowledge that if something was to happen to a family member their medical costs will be taken care of, is important to us all. Our expert consultants can advise on the most suitable level of coverage for families & individuals
Professional Service you can trust
Pacific Prime Insurance will be with you for the duration of your policy. We offer additional customer services that include claims advice, emergency contact numbers and medical advice lines. We also maintain a comprehensive list of Ireland hospitals/doctors. Most of our clients are expatriates so we maintain a list of Embassies in Ireland.
As a leading broker of medical insurance in Ireland we keep up on the latest insurance trends and Ireland Insurance News.
We can offer expatriates in Ireland dedicated international health insurance plans that will provide comprehensive coverage in the East and around the world. Plans that we can offer will usually have a number of benefits that a policyholder is able to tailor to suit their specific requirements. With coverage options including out-patient, dental, maternity, and emergency evacuation, you will be assured of receiving the highest levels of quality treatment anywhere in the world.
Ireland Medical Insurance
The Republic of Ireland, on an island located just west of the United Kingdom, has been an active member of the European Union since 1973. It had a population around 4,623,000 people, as of July 2010, living on 68,883 km² of Irish soil. Ireland is made up of 32 counties, 26 are a part of the Republic of Ireland while 6 make up Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. Ireland offers a lot for an expatriate to experience, from the picture perfect harbour villages in County Cork, surfing beaches of Bundoran, to the wilderness of County Donegal’s National Parks. When travelling to Ireland the cost of staying there can be quite high, although after the economic collapse of 2008 and early 2009 the prices have gone down somewhat. When staying in Dublin the minimum someone will spend to survive is about €45 a day, spending €20-€25 for a hostel and €20 for food.
Known as the Celtic Tiger after the year 2000 for its economic strength, Ireland has had a successful economic GDP growth average of 10% from 1995 to 2000, and then an average growth of 7% from 2001-2004. With this Ireland also saw peace being restored between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, decreasing the risk factor for expatriates travelling to the country. Once an economy dominated by agriculture, Ireland has shifted to a knowledge-based economy, focusing on the high-tech and services industries. Industry is responsible for around 46% of the GDP, and about 80% of exports, replacing the once prevalent agriculture sector in its economic importance. In 2010 Ireland was ranked as the world’s third most economically free economy, but was the first country to enter a recession in 2008. The global recession damaged the Irish economy dropping the GDP by 1.7% in 2008 and the GDP fell further in 2009 by 7.1%. In 2010 Ireland finally and officially exited its recession with a 2.7% GDP growth.
In 2000 Ireland was ranked 19th in the world health care systems by the World Health Organization. The health care system offers modern and reasonably efficient medical treatment. The system is split up into two separate care plans, Category One and Category Two. Once you become a resident in Ireland you are eligible for both. Category One policy holders will be allowed a variety of coverage for medical care, a ‘medical card’ is also a possibility which covers all hospital and ordinary medical costs such as; dental, GP visits, ophthalmic services, aural services, maternity and infant care, and prescribed medications. A person will qualify for a medical card if their income is under a specific threshold, which is determined by a person’s age and number of dependents. The dependent spouse and children of a ‘medical card’ holder would also normally be covered. Any person at or above the age of 70 are entitled to the card regardless of their means. Medical cards currently cover 31.9% of the population within Ireland, and the Irish government’s plans are to entitle every Irishman or woman to a medical card.
The Category Two plan covers everyone else not already under the Category One coverage. Category Two coverage allows the policy holder access to all in-patient hospital services in public wards, but out-patient care is subject to a maximum annual charge of a few hundred Euros. Maternity and infant care, such as doctor visits, is covered for the first six weeks after the birth of the child. Any accidental or emergency departments are covered if you have a referral from your doctor. The Ireland public health care system also accepts European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holding EU citizens from other nations, though it might not cover all the costs that could be covered from an international health insurance plan, such as medical repatriation to your home country.
The European Health Insurance Card plan aims to ensure a European Union citizen’s access to healthcare; it services these people in any other EU country, which includes the Republic of Ireland. The EHIC will entitle the policy holder to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Irish citizens, also any medical treatments that become necessary can be obtained for free or at a reduced cost. An expatriate should be aware that the EHIC is not an alternative to traveller insurance.
A majority of Hospitals are run directly by the Health Service Executive, but there are 3 different types of Hospitals; HSE, private, and Voluntary public hospitals. The HSE and voluntary hospitals are best described as the public hospitals of Ireland and have very little difference in-between them in their practices and services provided. Most the of the public hospitals offer private medical care for patients but there must be a clear distinction between public and private beds. Though private hospitals don’t receive state funding, the real difference between public and private hospitals is small and depends on the centre and the range of services that are provided. The key difference is that when using public hospital health care, as someone living or visiting Ireland, the maintenance and treatment in public beds will be either free or have some small fees. When using private health care, in a public or private medical facility, a person must pay for both treatment and maintenance, which can be covered by a private health insurance plan.
When using the public health care system there is an issue with the waiting lists. The waiting time for a procedure/ operation has the possibility of being quite long. In 2007 76% of inpatients were admitted for operations immediately, 11% had to wait up to one month, 4% had to wait 3 month, 1% wait 6 months, 4% wait over 6 months. This is a huge improvement from conditions in 2002 when the national average waiting time for procedures was between 2 to 5 years. The Irish government set up the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2002 to deal with the problem and in 2009 the NTPF was able to push that number down to between 2 to 5 months. Though with an international medical insurance there is not any waiting time.