As the three Irish health insurers all raise their prices, HSF expects to continue to benefit with an increase in enquiries and business.
HSF is not a replacement for health insurance and is not a health insurer in the traditional sense. It does not offer blanket cover for hospital stays but may prove to be an affordable safety net for some Irish people at a time of crisis.
What it does is give cash back to policyholders to offset day-to-day outpatient expenses. This includes GP fees, prescription costs, consultant and dental fees, and physiotherapy visits, as well as grants for hospital stays, birth grants and worldwide accident cover.
It has just over 100,000 members in the Republic. HSF saw a rise of over 20 per cent in new members last year, compared to the previous year as cash plans now play an important role in the provision of healthcare in Ireland.
Roy Smith of HSF says, “Those who cannot now afford private medical insurance can still manage to pay towards a health cash plan, which provides much-needed help towards healthcare expenses that cannot be avoided. Those who do have that cover can take out a cash plan to complement their private scheme and thereby cover almost every health eventuality.”