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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 18°C
# listen to me
What you need to say to get a MUCH cheaper deal on your health insurance
The trick is to make the providers do the work for you…

DO YOU HAVE health insurance?

Know what it entitles you to?

In all likelihood, you don’t.

And checking the fine print of your policy to make sure you’re on a competitive one is no-one’s idea of a good time.

Health insurance expert Dermot Goode of had some really eye-opening advice in this area when he stopped by the newsroom for a chat yesterday.

Some people on more expensive plans, he said, could save up to a grand by shopping around.

The secret – apparently – to making sure you’ve got the best deal is to make the insurance providers do the work for you.

Call them with a checklist – and make sure you ask the right questions. There’s not much to it, he says – but you might want a “flask of coffee” by your side as you make your calls.

Video / YouTube

[Click the video for the full advice - or read on, if you don't have time/fast enough internet right now]

“Rather than trying to wade your way through 388 page plans – decide on your budget,” Goode says.

“So if you decide – right I’ve got €800 to spend, then contact the insurance company or your broker or go online, and basically tell them ‘I have €800 to spend, what’s the best plan you could give me for €800?’.

Now, there’s no deals to be done, some people have said to me ‘ah sure I’m showing my hand by telling them the amount of money’. It doesn’t matter – you’re actually making them do the work for you.

“And you can say to the insurance company, whether it’s a corporate plan or a nurse’s or teacher’s plan I don’t mind – give me your best plan for that amount of money.

- Much too much - 

75 to 80 per cent of us who have health insurance right now are paying “way too much,” says Goode.

Providers, he says, will often take the plan you’re on, put it out under a different name at a lower price “and you could end up staying on your plan, and paying too much”.

Essentially, renewing your health insurance is a bit like trading up to a newer car. 

Goode’s advice: Never tell them “I can’t afford the plan, what do you recommend?” – because then the provider can just pick whatever they want, and suggest it to you.

Instead say:

Here’s what I want – now, I want you to go and check all of your plans and give me the closest equivalent plan to what I have.

“If they then come back and make a recommendation then the question would be ‘is that the best plan?’ – because these calls are all recorded – and then get them to explain whatever differences there are.

And that’s it – make them do the work for you.

More: The government’s trying to make us all take out health insurance… Here’s what you need to know

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