Health Warning For Returnees


isabelhayesReturned emigrant Isabel Hayes

Giving Ireland another chance?

Welcome back!

After weeks of shopping around, we found out Laya Health Insurance allows Bupa Australia customers to transfer their health insurance history across. No other health insurer would let us do that and we had resigned ourselves to having to go back to square one in terms of waiting periods.
….It’s yet another thing to consider when moving home, and something that has been really bothering me.
We are Irish citizens after all. We should be able to return home after a few years abroad without losing every single one of our benefits and rights.
I understand why I’m not eligible for maternity benefit or job seekers allowance (when I start looking for work). I appreciate I haven’t given anything to the Irish taxman since 2008 and therefore can’t expect anything in return.
But health insurance is something we have paid a huge amount of money for over the years. It was awful to think we would have to go back to the very beginning.

Punished for living abroad? You’d better believe it (Isabel Hayes, TheIrishEcho)

Thanks Mark Geary

35 thoughts on “Health Warning For Returnees

  1. Paolo

    eh. … private health insurance is not a right. You have zero rights to it. It is a business and if those sheisters think that they can get more money out of you then they will try to.

  2. Lenny Zero

    So she understands why she loses her state provided benefits after not paying tax, but can’t understand why she loses benefits that come about from paying into a private company?

  3. John E. Bravo

    Looking forward to the commenters-hate-emigrants party here later. the second best gig in town (after the commenters-hate-travellers-love-using-the-word-knacker-ambiguously shindigs.)

  4. kurtz

    You do realise how insurance works right? It’s essentially gambling. You are paying money on a monthly basis on the chance you might get sick and will need cover the costs. You stop paying, the coverage ends. You don’t build up credit with insurance.

    And health insurance isn’t a right. It’s a luxury.

    1. Paul

      You do realise that there is a waiting period, between 26weeks and 104weeks, before you’re fully covered?

        1. Paul

          Yep. That about sums it up. I sure she appreciates the mainsplaining of how insurance works though.

          1. Eliot Rosewater

            It’s not really ‘mainsplaining’ if the person genuinely has no understanding of how insurance works, though.

    2. Banotti

      Incorrect Kurtz. Our health insurance does not function like your typical insurance with its one price fits all.

  5. Todd

    Oh yea she leaves when things are bad and returns after we have suffered through 6 years of horseshit and spoofery, now demanding her health insurance back. Go and poo.

    1. ahjayzis

      Fair play for sticking it out Todd, you’re my hero.
      Leaving to better ones life is a cop-out, after all. Misery is it’s own reward etc.

    2. The Old Boy

      The automatic substitution of the word “shit” always gives me a chuckle. It has a marvellous deflationary effect on vented anger.

  6. Hosannah in the Hiace

    I was abroad for a few years and transferred back to Aviva with small amount of fuss.

    show you’ve been covered and no problem

  7. Big_G

    This is a problem with health insurance not a problem with Ireland. When I went to Oz for 18 months, I was with VHI Global. When I came back, it was as if I wasn’t their customer at all for those 18 months. Luckily I returned before two years, otherwise I would have to sit all the waiting periods again. It’s a joke. Of all the problems around being a returning emigrant, this is low down on the list though.

    1. Spartacus

      “This is a problem with health insurance not a problem with Ireland.”

      In my experience, Ireland excels at the parochial “not from around here” attitude. I’ve found it with insurance, banking services, the Gardai, the PPSN system, and the HSE as well as various semi-state bodies. I think it’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself, most are blissfully ignorant.

  8. Planet of the Missing Biros

    Every returned emigrant thinks they’re the first ones, so self obsessed. Been going on for decades love. Heard it all before. Did it myself a couple of times. And didn’t live in another white western English speaking country either.

    Irish people are obsessed with health insurance. They talk about it like some little social status flag waving. Most people don’t need it until they are older and they certainly don’t need it for maternity. The only private maternity hospital has closed because people copped on that it’s just snobbery that sends women to have their babies privately. Holles Street, Coombe and Rotunda are the place to have babies. They’re very good at it. And the working class women and immigrants won’t bite you.

  9. Ms Piggy

    It isn’t just Ireland, and it isn’t just insurance. Admittedly it was back in the 90s, but on returning to the UK from Oz after 3 years, and going to open a new bank account, I was told I couldn’t even have a cheque book (!!) because I had no recent credit history. I pointed out I had 3 years of perfect credit with a major Australian bank, and she replied, “oh, we don’t count foreign banks”. I’ve also got foreign colleagues here in Ireland right now, in their 40s and with the full gamut of financial records and credit histories in the UK, US etc, who can’t get credit cards or mortgages here until they’ve built up an ‘Irish’ credit history. It’s just one more example of the fact that there’s one set of financial rules for multinational corporations, and another set for the rest of us.

    1. paulyq


      Try moving to the US and see what they think of your Irish (or Australian) credit / insurance history. They really won’t care. So this isn’t an Irish problem, it’s a problem of moving from one jurisdiction to another.

      That aside, welcome back to Ireland, Isabel.

    1. Spartacus

      No, but there is a habitual residency requirement. No hard and fast rules, but it seems to be generally accepted to be six months.

  10. MintyFresh

    We spent 11 months in Canada, came back and got work quickly enough. 8 months into his job, the other half unfortunately was let go. Turned out there was no hope of any jobseekers allowance or benefit or whatever it is as we had been abroad. His previous 20 or so years of work and paying taxes in Ireland meant absolutely nothing. We’re getting ready to go back to Canada. Looking forward to seeing what happens to all the kids returning here off the back of their one and two year visas.

  11. geebag

    Don’t know why she’s so happy to accept she’s not entitled to any social welfare while looking for a job.

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