All health insurance members, and especially employers who are on corporate plans should review their cover prior to next renewal, as all members who are on the same corporate plan for two years or more could be overpaying by up to €600 per adult, according to health insurance expert Dermot Goode.

Mr. Goode of Irish health insurance consultancy Totalhealthcover.ie, says that while corporate plans often offer the best value on the market, the more dated the plan is, the more expensive it’s likely to be and therefore may no longer be fit for purpose.

Mr. Goode warns that thousands of consumers and also small-medium sized employers may be unnecessarily paying thousands every year in health insurance premiums as they mistakenly believe they’re on the best plans simply because it’s a ‘corporate plan’.

“Every year Ireland’s health insurance providers update their plans and also launch new corporate schemes for their key group schemes, where employers typically fund the cost of health cover for all their employees. As competition intensifies, many of these new plans will have the same or even better benefits than the older counterparts and will be less expensive than some of the more dated plans on the market. As both employers and consumers still simply auto-renew without shopping around, they are left on ‘legacy plans’, and as a result, end up paying more than they need to.

This is particularly true for small-medium sized employers who offer health insurance as a benefit to employees – it represents a significant cost to the employer, and so it should come as very welcome news that they could in fact be saving as much as €600 per employee, if they were to switch to a newer corporate plan”.

Totalhealthcover.ie advise that all corporate plans are available to everyone, both employers and individual consumers alike, and that they provide the best cover at the lowest price, with most including cover for public and private hospitals as well as giving up to 50% back (and more) on all out-patient costs with no excess to pay first.

Mr. Goode went on,

“Too many consumers and employers mistakenly believe that they have the best cover simply because they’re holding a ‘corporate’ plan – but some of these plans are nearly 10 years old! If people don’t review their cover annually, they may still have good cover, but they will end up overpaying by hundreds of Euro for no additional benefits.”

Totalhealthcover.ie highlight examples of this across the three health insurers in Ireland:

Laya Healthcare

A number of their corporate plans such as Company Care Excess (€1,890 per adult) and Company Care Plus (€2,084) are on the market now for some time
Some of their more up-to-date corporate plans cost €1,250 to €1,600 and offer equally good cover, including excellent refunds on out-patient expenses with no excess to pay first
Depending on the plan in question, one adult could potentially save up to €600 per year and more if they have their family insured on the same plan. An employer who funds the cost of cover for their workforce could also make significant savings in the thousands of euro depending on the numbers of staff covered by this type of plan.

VHI Healthcare

An example of a dated plan with VHI is their Company Plan Extra Level 2 at €1,710 per adult
Another version of this plan offering similar benefits is available at €1,548, which these members should consider
VHI members need to be careful of some of their older corporate plans under their ‘PMI’ range as they may not cover all hospitals, e.g. the PMI 2612 excludes four key private hospitals which are not covered on this plan at all. There are similar plans now available from VHI which cover all private hospitals and include savings of up to €150 per adult
Sometimes savings may not be possible, but you can get far better cover for the same money, e.g. the VHI Company Plan Extra scheme costs €1,587 per adult but their Company Plan Extra Level 1 scheme is a better plan and slightly cheaper at €1,548 for better overall cover.

Irish Life Health

Similar to the others, Irish Life Health (previously Aviva Health) have some excellent corporate plans that have been on the market for some time such as Business Plan Select and Business Plan Plus which cost approx. €2,100 per adult
Their latest corporate plans provide equivalent if not better overall cover and savings of €500 – €650 may be possible for each adult on the policy
In addition to this their new 4D corporate plans also include additional items such as free Travel Cover which could increase the savings further.

Mr. Goode concluded,
“The message is simple. Don’t avoid reviewing your cover simply because you’re already on a good ‘corporate’ plan. These plans have been hit by successive price hikes just like all other plans and complacency here will cost you dearly. Consider this – if you could reduce your costs by €600 for the year, that would cover the cost of a quality dental plan or medical cash plan which means you could have better overall cover for the same cost!!”

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