VHI VHI cover for elderly couple

Páid

Frequent Poster
My parents are both on VHI HealthPlus Extra at €2234 each (€4468 total). They have been with VHI for decades and will not change to another provider. Renewal is in January.

Both are healthy and are 69 & 73 years of age. They have free GP care. They require good hospital cover just in case something happens.

Is HealthPlus Extra a good plan for them or are there better VHI plans they should consider?
 

snowyb

Frequent Poster
Hi Paid,

Option 1;
The nearest identical plan to your parents current plan with no private inpatient hospital excess is as follows;
'HealthPlus Access' (old Plan B); price 1858per person pa, exact same hospital cover as before, not great day to day cover, high outpatient excess 300 but similar to HealthPlus Extra (250 outpatient excess).

http://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|67&source=plans

The only 2 extras on these two plans compared to others are;
1. They each have 100% cover in any private hospital for orthopaedic surgery ie; hip, knee replacement etc and cataract surgery.
2. They both have Level 2 cardiac cover in hi-tech hospitals, called TAVI surgery - this is specialised valve replacement surgery by keyhole - but
only if a person is not otherwise suitable for open heart surgery. There is strict criteria applied to this type of surgery. Consultant has to make a very strong case to prove necessary, on certain grounds, ie maybe other serious complications involved, age, previous cardiac history etc. Its not done just because a person has the cover.
Note; this cover was only recently included on these 2 plans, since 2012.
HealthPlus Extra; tavi surgery cover 100%
HealthPlus Access; tavi surgery cover 90%

Option 2;
A second option similar to 'Option 1' but includes a private hospital inpatient excess of 75 per admission or day case.
Details as follows;
'HealthPlus Excess; price 1632 per person pa, same hospital cover as before (including a private hospital excess 75 per admission or daycase),
not great day to day cover (outpatient excess 300). 90% TAVI surgery cover.

http://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|69&source=plans


The following options would both have 80% orthopaedic surgery cover and no TAVI surgery cover.

Option 3;
New corporate plan launched on 1 November 2015, no private hospital excess on admission or daycase.
Details as follows;
Plan PMI 42 15; price 1560 per person pa same hospital cover as before (except 80% orthopaedic cover + no TAVI surgery cover) excellent day to day cover ( but a
2 year waiting time would apply to this cover, existing( HealthPlus Extra) day to day cover will continue to apply while waiting.

http://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|654&source=plans

Option 4;
New corporate plan launched on 1 November 2015, including a private hospital inpatient excess 75 per admission or 50 per day case.
Details as follows;
Plan PMI 41 15; price 1152 per person pa, same hospital cover as before(except 80% orthopaedic cover + no TAVI surgery cover) good day to day cover ( but again a 2 year waiting time will apply to this cover, existing (HealthPlus Extra) day to day cover will continue to apply while waiting.

http://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|655&source=plans


NOTE; If having the extra cardiac TAVI cover matters to your parents, then options 1 or 2 would be good choices.
All 4 options would include regular open heart valve surgery in hi-tech hospitals as standard.

If having the full choice of private hospitals available, fully covered, just for hip or knee replacement or cataract surgery, matters to them - again
options 1 or 2 would be good choices. Note all other surgery is fully covered in all private hospitals on all options 1 to 4.
The 20% shortfall could potentially be 3000+ approx.
However, as I mentioned in many previous posts, the two hi-tech hospitals Mater Private Dublin and Blackrock Clinic are not passing this shortfall amount onto the patient. So, in other words, orthopaedic surgery and cataract surgery is fully covered if you choose either of these hospitals.
There is substantial savings to be made if this is acceptable to them and if the extra TAVI cover is not a requirement.

As it happens, my own parents were also on Plan B for donkeys years and switched 4 yrs ago. They would be late 70s and healthy.
They are on plan PMI 36 13, with 80% orthopaedic cover etc, and had hip surgery in a hi-tech hospital, fully covered, no shortfall applied, just the 75 excess paid on admission. This plan works well for them and their health needs. The only difference from HealthPlus Extra is no TAVI cover,
80% orthopaedic cover, not an issue at all, and their plan has the added bonus of good day to day cover ( 1 euro excess) which is not available on Healthplus Extra. Plan PMI 41 15 is identical to PMI 36 13, but cheaper. It wasn't available at their renewal date.

Hope this explains the differences overall and makes choosing a little easier.

Regards, Snowyb
 
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snowyb

Frequent Poster
Option 5; Health Access

As an addition to the above post, this is another suitable alternative which I missed. Details as follows, same as option 2 with a slightly higher
private hospital inpatient excess, 125, payable per admission or day case.

Health Access plan; price 1491pa per person, same hospital cover as before, with a private hospital excess 125, 100% orthopaedic cover in all private hospitals, 90% TAVI cardiac cover.

http://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|318&source=plans

Regards, Snowyb
 

Páid

Frequent Poster
Three years later and my parents are both still on VHI HealthPlus Extra which will cost in excess of €5,000 for renewal.

They are still healthy (thank God) but are wary of changing plans.

Are there any savings to be made by moving to a more appropriate / cheaper VHI plan?
 

tommygirl

Frequent Poster
Maybe not a helpful response but based on advice from Snowyb last year I managed to convince my parents to change from VHI to Laya simplicity and they saved over €2000. They resisted for years but now are delighted with the savings and are going to renew again. I thought I would never succeed but keep talking about what they could do with the savings and have detailed comparisons between the plans and clearly explain the differences for them. Definitely worth trying again.
Good luck
 

snowyb

Frequent Poster
Hi Paid,

It's a tricky one to handle. There's plenty of savings to be made and they will not lose hospital cover at all.

If they do only one move, its highly recommended to change to VHI HealthPlus Access(Old Plan B) price 1932 per adult.

This plan is identical to their current plan, with total savings of 760 to be made per year.

https://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|67&source=plans

As a matter of interest, if either person needed surgery, what hospital would they be inclined to opt for?
This may help with decision making.

To encourage the process of considering changing plans, the Blackrock Clinic has a new facility on their website whereby you can select any
plan with any company and it shows how you're covered. The results are interesting and spells out clearly what I have been trying to explain for a long time. Blackrock Clinic waives shortfalls for surgeries on most plans.
The following 2 links show the results for HealthPlus Extra and HealthPlus Access respectively.

http://cover.blackrock-clinic.ie/Home/Step4?FullyCovered=False&PlanId=809&CompanyId=2

http://cover.blackrock-clinic.ie/Home/Step4?FullyCovered=False&PlanId=807&CompanyId=2

Another helpful tip to encourage switching is to listen back to Health Insurance Broker Dermot Goode, on Marian Finucane Show last Saturday
morning 1st December 2018. I heard him recommending HealthPlus Access as an alternative to HealthPlus Extra. Hearing this type of
information from another source, ie the horse's mouth, might be enough to convince them over the line.

https://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/programmes/2018/1201/1014525-marian-finucane-saturday-1-december-2018/?clipid=102990747#102990747


There are also the 2 plans VHI Health Access and VHI HealthPlus Excess which have similar cover to VHI HealthPlus Extra but both have an excess of 125 or 75 to pay only if admitted for a stay in hospital or a day case procedure. The savings are even greater but this maybe a step too far at this stage.
https://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|69|318&source=plans

Hope this helps them out.

Snowyb
 

snowyb

Frequent Poster
Paid,

In reference to Dermot Goode's interview with Marian Finucane, he still refers to Healthplus Extra as(old Plan B Options) and Healthplus Access as
(old Plan B). Just to clarify this as he doesn't mention their new current names.

Fingers crossed that the move goes ahead.:)

All the best,
Snowyb
 

Páid

Frequent Poster
They are nearly going to move. They are based in the West of Ireland and are wondering in the case of an emergency and they were admitted to the Galway Clinic, the Regional in Galway or Castlebar Hospital would they only be covered for 90% of the cost on Healthplus Access ?

If it was a planned hip operation (for example) they could go to one of the hospitals in Dublin that waives the 10%. In case of emergency they would have to go to the closest hospital.

Thanks for the advice so far.
 

snowyb

Frequent Poster
Hi Paid,

I wasn't aware that your parents are based in the West of Ireland when recommending plans.
As Galway Clinic would be their hospital of preference, this hospital is classed as a private hospital for health insurance purposes.
I'm not sure if Galway Clinic would collect the 10% shortfall for special procedures, which applies to Healthplus Extra and Healthplus Access.
However, there are plenty of other plans that have 100% cover for Galway Clinic which would make more sense overall.

The Regional Hospital in Galway and Castlebar(Mayo General) are both public hospitals and are fully covered 100%. No shortfalls what so ever.

In light of the above information, I would not recommend Healthplus Extra or Healthplus Access as they don't fully cover Galway Clinic.

The following VHI plans fully covers Galway Clinic for everything except 80% orthopaedic cover.
1. VHI PMI 07 10; price 1188pa; all public, private hospitals and 3 hi-tech hospitals covered, private hospital excess 150 x 1 max per year for
all admissions regardless of how many in a year. Day case excess 50 per procedure in private hospitals. Good day to day cover included, 50%
refund for consultant visits etc. 80% cover for hip and knee replacement surgery in private hospitals.

2. Company Plan Extra Level 1; price 1548pa; all public, private hospitals and 3 hi-tech hospitals covered, no excess to pay in any hospital,
Good day to day cover included, 75% refund for consultant visits, etc. 80% cover for hip and knee replacement surgery in private hospitals.

https://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=107|68|748&source=plans

Laya Options
I know they are adamant about staying with VHI, but I have to show just how much cover Laya has to offer for their type of situation.
Laya plans fully cover all private hospitals including Galway Clinic. They fully cover orthopaedic surgery in all private hospitals including
Galway Clinic. There is even no excess to pay for hip or knee replacement surgery in any private hospital.

The following Laya plans are at least worth looking at;
3. Laya Simplicity plan; price 1231pa; all public, private hospitals(including a room on your own,fully covered) + 3 hi-tech hospitals covered,
private hospital excess 100 x 2 max per year for all admissions - regardless of how many in a year. Good day to day cover included, 50%
refund for consultant visits, etc. 100% cover for hip and knee replacement surgery in any private hospital, including Galway Clinic - no excess
applies to this type of surgery.

4. Laya Simply Connect Plus; price 1250pa; all public, private hospitals, + 3 hi-tech hospitals covered, private hospital excess 150 x 1 max per
year - regardless of how many in a year. Good day to day cover on this plan, 50% refund for consultant visits, etc. 100% cover for hip and
knee replacement surgery in any private hospital, including Galway Clinic - no excess applies to this type of surgery.

https://www.hia.ie/ci/comparison/step3?plan_ids=68|656|519&source=plans

They could half their premium costs based on the above prices, including the VHI options.

Regards, Snowyb
 
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