Buying private health insurance/medical conditions

Can I buy a company plan even though I am not an employee?

Yes. Company plans are available to all regardless of whether you are an employee or not.

Can my insurer refuse to sell me health insurance?

No. An Open Membership Insurer must accept all applicants for insurance. Some plans are marketed towards certain groups such as companies or professions. You are entitled to these plans regardless of whether you are a member of the group to whom it is being marketed.

Can an insurer refuse to sell me insurance because I have a medical condition?

No. Health insurance is available to all, regardless of age, sex or health status. However a waiting period may apply in respect of cover for treatment for the medical condition.

What is a pre-existing condition?

From 1 May 2015 a pre-existing condition is defined as:

"Pre-existing condition” means an ailment, illness or condition, where, on the basis of medical advice, the signs or symptoms of that ailment, illness or condition existed at any time in the period of 6 months ending on the day on which the person became insured under the contract

Can my health insurer refuse to renew my contract if I get sick?

No. A system of lifetime cover operates in Ireland. This is a system that protects you by guaranteeing all consumers the right to renew their policies, irrespective of factors such as age, risk status or claims history. Once you have health insurance, an insurer cannot stop cover or refuse to renew your insurance, except in very limited circumstances.