Q We have a young family and I am considering adding our three children under the age of 18 to our policy at the next renewal. From conversations with friends, however, opinions differ as to whether there are any advantages to insuring small children in private health insurance.
A The advice from Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie is to insure young children if it is affordable. He said that if they don’t have a health card, they have to pay the public hospital fee of €80 per night up to a maximum of €800 per year, which is covered by health insurance.
Children are subject to similar waiting lists for routine elective treatment through the public system as are adults.
Finally, if you add your children to your policy in the future and they have existing medical conditions, they will not be hospitalized for five years, Mr Goode said.
There are good offers for childcare from 200 euros each, he said. Depending on your renewal date, you may be able to take advantage of one of the free coverage offers that are often available in the market.
Q I started my current job in 2008. Part of my terms and conditions stated that my employer would pay into a pension plan. My employer paid into my pension plan up until the beginning of the pandemic and hasn’t paid anything since. Is this illegal?
A Without having your employment contract reviewed by an employment lawyer, Excel Recruitment managing director Barry Whelan says it’s difficult to determine whether your employer is contractually obligated to contribute to your pension.
Furthermore, you have not made it clear whether you were laid off during the pandemic or related to the Covid support payment during this time.
Mr Whelan suggests that you sit down with your employer to understand why pension payments have not been made and ask how the situation can be rectified. If it can’t be fixed to your satisfaction, you should speak to your union rep or an employment lawyer, he said.
Q My wife and I applied for a mortgage with AIB. The bank offered us a mortgage for 34 years. We’ll both be 35 when we pay off the mortgage. So if we keep the mortgage for 34 years, we’ll be almost 70 years old when we’re done with that. I am employed by An Garda Síochána and I think that I will retire at 60 and then receive a pension of around 12,000 to 14,000 euros a year before the state pension starts. I know we don’t have to take the offer, but is AIB able to offer us a mortgage term knowing I won’t be able to have a full-time job by the time I’m 60?
A According to Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit at MyMortgages.ie, the bank is under no obligation to ensure that a mortgagee is employed full-time during the term of the mortgage. This is not one of his qualification criteria.
However, some banks may not lend past age 65 to someone who does not have a guaranteed private pension. If you’re concerned, you can apply for a short-term mortgage with the AIB.
At some point in your career, you may have the opportunity to overpay on your mortgage, which would shorten your repayments and/or term.
Q I recently received a letter from VHI advising me that PMI 3513 will replace my existing PMI 3713 plan. I am a 74 year old widower. Can you recommend something similar to my previous plan?
A There are a number of excellent alternatives to VHI’s proposed plan, said Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie. He said your previous plan covered private accommodation in private hospitals, subject to a small deductible per claim.
The proposed alternative plan includes semi-private accommodation. If you want to keep homestay coverage and stay with the VHI, you can consider the PMI 4416 program for €1,437 a year, Mr Goode said.
If you’re open to switching providers and want to increase your coverage for orthopedic procedures and general outpatient expenses, you might consider the €1,463 Laya Connect Simplicity program, he said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/your-personal-finance-questions-is-there-any-benefit-to-paying-for-health-insurance-for-children-41512407.html Your Personal Financial Questions – Does Child Health Insurance Have Any Benefits?