hello and welcome to the bunker study guide to health insurance in Ireland video series over the course of this series are going to look at how the health insurance systems structured in this country debunk some of the myths that surround private health cover and most importantly give you the information that will allow you to make the best decisions for you and your family when it comes to health insurance throughout the series I’m going to be joined by Ireland’s foremost health insurance expert Dermot goode dermot you’re very welcome thank you and in episode 1 today we’re gonna take a look at how the health insurance system is structured in Ireland Dermot is public health care free in this country unfortunately it’s not a lot of people think it is but anybody who ends up in a public hospital be their child or an adult they will be charged 75 euro for every night up to 10 1991 year so that means that they can end up paying 750 euro or they will end up paying 750 euro per year be it a child or an adult so it’s not free unfortunately a lot of people think because they pay their taxes that they’re entitled to public treatment they are entitled to it but it does come with a cost okay so just say someone’s to get an illness or have an accident and have to stay in hospital for 10 nights over the course of a year you’ll be able to go for 750 euros regardless of your age is that correct absolutely well children under the age of 6 weeks they won’t be charged anybody with a medical card won’t be charged but otherwise you will have to pay that fee and if you have health insurance of course it’s covered but even if you don’t have there let’s just say the phones with you when you’re being admitted they will pursue you to make sure you pay that fee so you will have to pay probably treatment will is not free in this country okay you mentioned medical cards there so if you have a medical card you’re exempt from that fee is that correct it is the medical cards effectively enabled you to go public free of charge and it also includes things like GP cover prescription cover and so forth a lot of people don’t mistakenly believe that if they have a medical card that they will get speed your access to treatments that they can bypass these waiting lists people don’t realize there’s four hundred and thirty five thousand people now waiting for their first appointment to the public system some people waving over twelve months and they don’t realize that there’s nearly 75,000 people who’ve had their first appointment who are now waiting for surgery and I think four and a half thousand of them alone are young children who are waiting for things like tonsillectomy so unfortunately with our public system it’s very good when you get in the problem is getting in and the only way around that is really to either have a lot of money in the bank or to have private health insurance cover okay well you mentioned private health insurance cover so let’s talk about that what are the main advantages of getting private health insurance cover right now in this country well for me I’d somewhat up in two words mainly access and the other word is control and what I mean by access is that you know if I try to get treatment through the public system and they tell me after wait 12 months well unless I have health insurance I have to wait 12 months with health insurance cover you don’t go to the public system you go to your GP who will then send you to a specialist and the first question they will ask you is do you have private health insurance cover and if they do they will bring you in as their private patients and you can be covered for all public and all private hospitals in the country and whether we like it or not instead of maybe waiting three months for an orange MRI scan you can get it done next week instead of waiting 12 months for to get your cruciate ligament done or something like that you can get that done in two to three weeks so access is there is the main reason why people take out health insurance but also in addition to that I mean if this is important to you you can have a private or semi-private room you can choose which hospital which consultant attends you so if there’s a particular doctor you want to attend where would private cover you can attend that doctor and I suppose most importantly and this is becoming really important now for consumers they can choose when they want to go into hospital so rather than being told you know where to be next week you can choose a time of admission that suits your personal circumstances so it’s really about access but also control as well okay so you’ve outlined a number of the advantages there but the main one really is access that’s I think a recent survey from the health insurance authority said that 50 percent of people who have private cover they have it because they’re worried about waiting lists and that’s the main reason why they basically pay separately for private health insurance correct one of the main reasons people choose not to have private health insurance and the main one I think is still affordability a lot of people you know health insurance in this country has become very expensive I mean it’s gone up on average 8 to 10 percent each year and unfortunately with keep going up by that amount but when you look at the actual when you look at a private room in a public hospitals over a thousand euro per night when you factor in the fact that you’ll have to pay 750 euro anyway as a public patient you can buy reasonable health insurance now for eight hundred and fifty euro to a thousand euro per year and in this country you don’t get loaded for claiming there’s no less a penalties as you get older there’s no penalties for making multiple claims there’s also no bonuses if you don’t claim but the main reason why people haven’t been joining is because of costs but thankfully now more people back in employment we’re now seeing the numbers with health insurance gradually rising again I think the other reason as well as they’re still you know one of the main myths around health cover in this country people still think the public system is free and it’s a reason why they don’t take our private cover but when they now find out that they have to pay as a public patient I think a lot of people are now realizing I need private health insurance coverage Germany you’ve mentioned myths there and myths is the topic of our next episode in the guide to health insurance in Ireland video series where we’re going to debunk some of the myths that’s around private health cover in this country during thank you very much thank you and thank you for watching