In general, health insurance policies are 12 month contracts. If you switch insurer or plan and later want to switch back, you may do so at your next renewal date. In some cases, insurers allow policy holders to switch contracts during the 12 month term. The insurer may impose waiting periods for any extra benefits available on your new plan.
Please see our section on upgrade waiting periods
Current Market Practice
Irish Life Health will provide a 14 day cooling-off period from your renewal date, where you may cancel, get a full refund and switch to an alternative plan or insurer. Irish Life Health will also allow you to switch your plan mid-term to another Irish Life Health plan. However you cannot switch from Irish Life Health to another insurer mid-term without penalty.
The mid-term cancellation charge will consist of 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.
GloHealth will allow you to change your plan mid-term. However if you would like to cancel your policy entirely and/or move to another insurer, you may only do so at your renewal date, or during the 14 day cooling-off period which starts from your renewal date. If you cancel during the cooling-off period, you will get a full refund of any premium paid for that policy year.
GloHealth will allow a member to be removed from the main policy holder's account, mid-term. The main policy holder may be charged a fee equal to the health insurance levy for removal of a member.
Laya Healthcare will provide a 14 day cooling-off period from your renewal date, where you may cancel, get a full refund and switch to an alternative plan. You may switch to another laya plan mid-term, but switches to another insurer are not allowed mid-term. Laya will seek the full year's premium if you cancel mid-term.
Vhi Healthcare will provide a 14 day cooling-off period from your renewal date, where you may switch plans within Vhi, keeping the same renewal date, or you may switch to another insurer. Vhi will not allow a switch mid-term after this time.
If you stop paying your Vhi 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 since your last renewal date, Vhi will charge the full year’s premium.