New Customer Waiting Periods
When you take out health insurance for the first time, you may have to serve waiting periods before you are fully covered, but accident and injury will be covered immediately. The maximum waiting periods are:
|New Customer Maximum Waiting Periods|
|Your age on joining||Accident and Injuries||Illnesses that commence after you join||Illnesses that commence before you join||Maternity related claims|
|Under 55||None||26 weeks||5 years||52 weeks|
|55-59||None||52 weeks||7 years|
|60-64||None||52 weeks||10 years|
|65 or over||None||104 weeks||10 years|
Once you serve these waiting periods you will not have to serve them again if you switch to another insurer, as long as you haven't had a break in cover of more than 13 weeks. If you switch insurers while you are serving new customer waiting periods, the amount of time served with the first insurer will be taken into account and you will finish off your waiting periods with the new insurer. You will only have to serve additional waiting periods if you switch to a plan with higher benefits. See our section on switching for further details.
Current Market Practice
Currently, all insurers normally apply the maximum waiting periods for new customers to the market, to inpatient benefits, as described above. However these are maximum waiting periods and can be waived or reduced at the insurer's discretion.
In practice, shorter waiting periods are applied to new customers for outpatient benefits. These shorter waiting periods are listed below.
|Age group at time of switching plans||Waiting periods applied to new customers for out-patient benefits |
|Vhi Healthcare||Aviva Health and GloHealth||Laya Healthcare|
|Under 50||Immediate Cover||Immediate Cover||Immediate Cover|
|50-54||26 weeks||Immediate Cover||Immediate Cover|
|55-64||52 weeks||52 weeks||Immediate Cover|
|65 and over||104 weeks||104 weeks||Immediate Cover|
|Maternity Benefits||52 weeks||52 weeks||Immediate Cover|
Infants born to policy holders will not serve a waiting period if they are added to a policy within 13 weeks of their date of birth.