Moving to Ireland/Moving Abroad

I am moving to Ireland. Can I get private health insurance?

You can take out insurance if you become a resident of Ireland. You may, however, have to serve a waiting period. If you are an EU national and you become ill or have an accident during a visit to any EU country you can get free or reduced cost healthcare on production of a European Health Insurance Card. You can obtain this card from your country of usual residence. (www.ehic.ie)

If you are 35 or older when you move to Ireland you must purchase private health insurance within 9 months, otherwise, a Lifetime Community Rating Loading will be applied to your premium. This loading is 2% of the gross premium for every year over 34 that you have attained. The loading will be applied to your premium for 10 years.

I currently hold health insurance abroad and I am returning to Ireland to live. Will my foreign health insurance be taken into account for waiting periods on Irish health insurance?

Health Insurers in Ireland are not obliged to take foreign health insurance into account. But see answer to the following question. 

Additionally, if you are 35 or older when you move to Ireland you must purchase private health insurance within 9 months, otherwise, a Lifetime Community Rating Loading will be applied to your premium. This loading is 2% of the gross premium for every year over 34 that you have attained. The loading will be applied to your premium for 10 years.

I am moving abroad for a period of time but I have held health insurance in Ireland up to now. Will I have to serve waiting periods when I return?

Health Insurance abroad is not taken into account for the purposes of waiting periods. However, a health insurer may waive the waiting period at their discretion, because the law imposes a maximum on waiting periods that an insurer may require, but no minimum. Some insurers routinely waive waiting periods if you have previously held health insurance in Ireland or if you were covered by certain types of health insurance while abroad.

Please check our section on Lifetime Community Rating if you will be 35 or older when you return, as a loading may apply to your premium.