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International students' healthcare and medical insurance in Ireland

Learn about medical insurance options available to you as an international student in Ireland.

In this article:

Why do you need health insurance while studying in Ireland?

Having a good healthcare plan is  critical for an international student. While away from home, you need health insurance to fall back on in case of illness or accidents. In many countries, including Ireland, having health insurance is mandatory for international students. 

Ireland's public healthcare system does not cover non-EU students, so you need to purchase private health insurance.

Different health insurance options

You need to have one of the following insurance plans at the time of immigration to be permitted into the country. 

Travel insurance

You can use your travel insurance to satisfy the insurance requirements if:

  • The insurance covers you for one entire year. If your study duration is less than one year, it will suffice if the travel insurance covers you for that duration.
  • The insurance must be at least  €25,000 for accidents and €25,000 for diseases.
  • The insurance must provide coverage for any period of hospitalisation.

Group insurance

Some colleges will offer a group insurance scheme that covers emergency medical treatments. The premium for such schemes is generally low at around €180 per year. You can show the letter of enrolment from your college as proof of insurance during immigration. Make sure that the letter indicates that:

  • You are a student at the college.
  • You have paid for the group insurance scheme offered by the college.
  • Coverage details of the insurance.

Note: It is not mandatory to take the group insurance scheme offered by your college. You are free to opt for private insurance if needed. 

Private insurance

Private insurance companies offer more comprehensive health insurance options. You can visit Irish insurance providers' websites to check their plans and choose one that suits you. You can also choose to avail medical insurance from your home country if they provide coverage in Ireland.

You need to bring the insurance papers with you during immigration as proof.

Some of the major insurance providers in Ireland are, VHI, Irish Life and Laya Healthcare.

Note: If you cancel your medical insurance after the immigration process is over, you will be in breach of immigration conditions.

Caution: As Northern Ireland is a part of the UK please check the United Kingdom section for information on that region. The above article pertains to the Republic of Ireland.