Q – I have heard you talk on radio about prioritising when it comes to expenditure – cancel the least important. We are at that stage now with 2 children under the age of 3 and with one “bread-winner” is it now time to drop health insurance? It really is a case of watching every cent. Any advice ? Jim – Mullingar Co West Meath

A – Thanks for the question Jim – you are right about the prioritisation. The annual budget is all important, especially at this time of year.  When you review your expenditure and pare until you can pare no more, your two other choices are earn more – which may not be possible – or prioritise…. Cut out the least necessary of your expenditure. It might be the pay channels, the regular lattés with your friends or it might be, like 300,000 members since 2018, the health insurance premiums that have more than doubled over the last 7 years by a whopping 130%. In fairness to the insurance companies whose hands have been somewhat tied by government regulation, they are doing what they can to come up with alternatives for families that are hard pressed and simply can no longer afford the luxury of health insurance. For comparisons of the four health insurances, check the Health Insurance Authority at www.hia.ie  but watch out for special deals.  There are only 3 health insurance companies… one of them, VHI, have 93 + different plans alone, so choosing can be difficult. For comparisons, the energy regulator (The Commission for Regulation of Utilities) has accredited 3 organisations for comparison/switching..

  1. www.bonkers.ie
  2. www.powertoswitch.ie
  3. www.switcher.ie

You need your most recent utility bill to hand in order to input your meter number, existing package, usage, payment method, Smart meter installed etc and the switching company (above) do the rest… generally takes between 5 and 10 days to effect a switch…better in your pocket.

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