In general, health insurance policies are 12 month contracts. All insurers will provide a 14 day cooling-off period from the commencement of the contract, during which time you may cancel and get a full refund. No claims will be paid in respect of these 14 days.
Current Market Practice
Irish Life Health
Irish Life Health do not allow mid-term cancellation without penalty. If you cancel your policy prior to the end of the policy year, or do not pay your premium, Irish Life Health will not pay any claims made in respect of the period following the date of cancellation or non-payment, and will seek a cancellation charge equal to the health insurance levy calculated on a pro-rata basis for each adult, student and child on the policy for the remainder of the policy term, together with an administration fee of €25 per policy.
Irish Life Health will allow you to switch to another Irish Life Health plan mid-term.
GloHealth policies are for a 12 month period. If you cancel within the first 14 days there is a cooling-off period where they will cancel the contract and give you a full refund.
Mid-term cancellations will not receive any premium refund and the balance of the year's premium will be due. If there have been no claims, GloHealth will apply a penalty equal to the full health insurance levy for breach of contract rather than collecting the remaining premium.
GloHealth will allow you to change your plan mid-term without penalty.
Laya healthcare contracts are for a period of one year unless they agree to a different period when starting your policy. If you do cancel mid-year, you will not receive any refund on your premium. If you don't pay your premiums, laya healthcare will consider this a breach of contract and will not pay any benefits for the contract term and may seek the remainder of the premium.
Laya will allow you to switch to another Laya plan mid-term.
Vhi do not allow mid-term cancellations without penalty. If you stop paying your premium mid-term and have had no claims, they will charge you a penalty for breach of contract. This is equal to the health insurance levy, per person, on a pro-rata basis, for the remaining period left on the policy plus a €50 administration fee per policy. Payment of this penalty does not affect your rights to take out a policy with another insurer.
If you have had claims in this policy year, Vhi will charge the full year’s premium.