Private Hospitals Association Urge Consumers to Check the Vitals of their Health Insurance Cover
PHA – “Increasing numbers of people being left without adequate cover in key treatment areas of cancer, cardiology and orthopaedics”
ABC guide to help public make informed choices, avoid extra costs and ensure appropriate health cover
The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) has today launched a new information campaign urging patients with private health insurance to be more vigilant when renewing their health cover and to ensure they are adequately covered for core treatment areas.
“Know the ABC of Private Health Cover” is an accessible guide highlighting the importance of people having appropriate cover relevant to their age and likely future health requirements, and in particular to ensure cover for more complex treatment areas such as cancer, cardiology and orthopaedics.
The Private Hospitals Association says increasing numbers of patients are realising too late that their cover is falling short.
Chairman of the Association, Michael Cullen, says the variety of policy types and options can sometimes be confusing: “The ABC of Private Health Cover guide recognises that in a complicated health insurance market, it can be difficult to understand the complexities of over 220 health plans on the market. While 45% of the population (2.1 million people) have health insurance, for the patients requiring actual hospital treatment every year, we are seeing increasing numbers facing additional co-payments before being able to undergo the required procedures. A lower-priced health policy will of course have its attractions but it can mean limited or no access to private hospitals, higher cash costs and unnecessary financial pressure down the line for patients and their families at what can already be a stressful time.
In addition, we are seeing that people tend not to review their health cover entitlements very often, despite their needs changing as they grow older. For example, older subscribers should prioritise full orthopaedic cover in later years. We have published the ABC Guide as a stop-and-think checklist for all private health insurance policy holders prior to renewing or purchasing a policy. The Private Hospitals Association will be promoting increased public awareness on this important issue over the coming months around the country,” concluded Mr Cullen.
The ABC Guide alerts the public to a number of common misconceptions:
- A small percentage of insurance plans do not provide access to private hospitals and are limited to private or semi-private care in public hospitals.
- Some plans only cover basic admission to certain hospitals but exclude complex treatments
- Some plans may not cover key medical procedures in the critical areas of cancer, cardiac and orthopaedics
- Some plans require significant cash to be paid upfront by the policy holder to the private hospital (a co-payment) before their cover applies
- Using one’s private health insurance will not result in an increase in premium costs.
The Association urges patients with private health insurance to check their entitlements and to follow the ABC rule when considering new cover or policy renewal:
A – Access: Ensure you are covered for access to your preferred private hospitals
B – Beware: Beware of hidden costs and be vigilant for co-payment clauses
C – Cover: Ensure comprehensive cover in the key treatment areas of Cardiac, Cancer and Orthopaedics.
The Association noted that the recent HIA Annual Report found that cover and service are now more important for subscribers with a majority now more likely to examine benefit ahead of financial gain.
“Know the ABC of Private Health Cover” is available free of charge at each of the Private Hospitals Association’s 17-member hospitals nationwide and is also available to download from the Association’s website at http://privatehospitals.ie
For more information, please contact:
Iarla Mongey, Q4 PR – 087 2356461 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Private Hospitals Association
The Private Hospitals Association is the representative body for the independently-funded hospital sector in Ireland. Our 18 member hospitals play an essential role in the delivery of acute and mental health services, accounting for almost one third of the acute hospitals in Ireland and employing close to 20% of staff in the sector.
- Offer over 1,000,000 bed nights to the Irish healthcare system each year
- Care for over 400,000 patients annually
- Carry out over 250,000 surgical procedures including over half of all spinal and cardiac surgeries
- Are fully accredited by internationally recognised accreditation bodies
- Employ over 8,000 highly-trained, professional staff across the country