Health insurance - A guide for international students
What are the regulations for EU / EEA students?
Under EU / EEA regulations students from other member states who are attending a course of study are entitled to medical services in Ireland. In order to be eligible for any of these services, you will be required to provide the Irish health authorities with documentation from your home country that validates your entitlement.
You should therefore contact the Health Authority in your home country, well in advance of travelling to Ireland, to fulfill any registration requirements and to obtain the necessary forms that you will need.
Please note that you will normally have to pay for all optical and dental services while in Ireland. With regard to hospital services, if you have not obtained the necessary documentation entitling you to free or minimum-cost services, costs can be as much as EUR 550 per day.
What are the regulations for non-EU/EEA students?
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) states: "All non-EEA students are required to have private medical insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. The private medical insurance should provide cover for accident and/or disease and should cover the student for any period of hospitalisation." Proof of insurance is required at the time of registration with immigration authorities. For short-term students and newly arrived first year students, travel insurance may suffice in some circumstances. » Read more
What are my options if I am going to obtain insurance?
Firstly, you should enquire about medical insurance with the International Office at the institution(s) to which you intend to apply as they may have a medical insurance scheme for international students.
Secondly, there are three main Private Health Insurance schemes operating in Ireland from which insurance may be purchased. This may not be straightforward from outside of Ireland.
Eastgate Road, Eastgate Business Park, Little Island, Co Cork
Tel: +353 21 202 2000 (or 1890 700 890 within the Republic of Ireland)
IDA Business Park, Purcellsinch, Dublin Road, Kilkenny
Tel: +353 56 7753200 (or 1850 44 44 44 within the Republic of Ireland)
One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2
Tel: 1850 717 717 (available within Republic of Ireland only)
Under some policies, you may not be entitled to make any claims from the insurance company until you have been with them for over 26 weeks. However, some companies have special insurance schemes where no waiting period is required. It is important to confirm the options with the health insurance company directly.
Thirdly, you may obtain private medical insurance in your home country - but you must be certain that it is valid in Ireland.
Last updated: January 2013