Health insurance terms

Q Allowable amount/expenses

Usually you can only claim for a portion of the cost of the visit to your practitioner. For example, a GP’s visit may cost €55 but you may only be allowed to claim €20. The €20 is the allowable amount/expenses.

Q Benefit

What you may claim for under your policy.

Q Cash Plan

A cash plan provides monetary amounts for a range of medical events but does not include cover for medical and hospital costs incurred in hospital as a private patient.

Q Community rating

The system in Ireland whereby a person’s age does not determine the level of premium paid. There are a number of exceptions in respect of children, full time dependent students under the age of 23, members of group schemes and pensioners of Restricted Membership Undertakings.

Q Company plan

A plan which is marketed primarily towards companies. These plans are available to all; one does not have to be a member of a company to purchase one.

Q Co-payment

A co-payment is a payment paid by a member each time a specified medical service which is liable to a co-payment is used. It is a percentage or value payment up to an agreed certain limit as specified in the terms and conditions of a members contract. It must be paid directly by the member to the medical service provider and is not reimbursable under the members plan of insurance and cannot be counted in the cost of any excess or outpatient claim.

Q Day-patient

Treatment received during a hospital stay in a day care bed which does not include an overnight stay.

Q Day-to-day benefits

Benefits which cover medical expenses which involve seeing a doctor/specialist in their own rooms or practice e.g. physiotherapy, GP visits or osteopathy.


Employee Assistance Programme, often involving telephone or face to face counselling services.

Q Dependant

Your husband, wife, co-habiting same or opposite sex partner and any child under the age of 18, or over the age of 18 who is in full time education and dependent on you (up to the age of 23 with Hibernian, 21 with Quinn and VHI) and who is named on your membership certificate as one of your dependants.

Q Excess

This is the first part of any insurance claim that you have to pay yourself.

Q Exclusions

These are conditions or treatments for which you are not covered under your health insurance plan.

Q Group scheme discount

A discount of not more than 10% of the premium that may be available to a person that is a member of a group of persons.

Q Hi-tech hospital

The Blackrock Clinic, the Mater Private and the Beacon Clinic are considered hi-tech hospitals.

Q In-patient

Treatment received during an overnight stay in hospital.

Q IP Address

The identifying details for your computer (or your internet company’s computer) expressed in internet protocol code; for example Every computer connected to the web has a unique IP address. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.

Q Lifetime Cover

It guarantees you the right to renew your policy irrespective of your risk status, age, sex or claims history.

Q Out-patient

Treatment which does not involve in-patient treatment or day care procedures, and includes consultations with complementary and alternative medicine practitioners.

Q Open enrolment

It guarantees you the right to buy health insurance irrespective of age or claims history.

Q Open Membership Insurer

Open Membership Insurers must provide insurance to everybody who requests it from them.

Q Policy limit

This is the maximum amount you can claim on your policy for out-patient benefits.

Q Certain orthopaedic and ophthalmic procedures

Hip, knee and shoulder replacement surgery and cataract surgery

Q Pre-existing condition

Any disease, illness or injury which started before you took out the health insurance contract. You do not have to have presented any symptoms, been diagnosed or have been aware of the presence of this condition prior to taking out insurance for the condition to be classified as pre-existing.

Q Premium

This is the amount you pay per year for your health insurance policy.

Q Private room

A private room will contain a single bed.

Q Restricted Membership Undertaking

Restricted Membership Undertakings provide insurance to people who are members of a particular group, normally a vocational group or employees of a particular organisation and their dependants e.g. The Garda Medical Aid.

Q Schedule of benefits

This schedule details the amount an insurer will pay under the policy.

Q Semi-private room

A semi-private room will contain up to 5 beds.

Q Tax relief

Tax Relief is an amount that can be claimed against your health insurance premium to reduce the cost of the premium. In the case of health insurance, this is carried out at source by the insurer, so the premium quoted will be inclusive of any tax reliefs available.

Q Waiting periods

A waiting period is the amount of time that must pass from the start date of a health insurance policy before full cover is available.

Q Web Browser

The piece of software you use to read web pages. Examples are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Source :The Health Insurance Authority