Recently, the Health Insurance Authority (HIA) in Ireland released a report terminating the basic health cover for international students studying in the country. Students enrolled in full time programmes for more than a year, will have to take the full health cover typically costing between €500 and €1,000 (Read full coverage). With this move, Ireland now falls in line with other European Union countries that have made full health insurance cover mandatory for foreign students from non-EU countries.
Earlier, the Irish government required students to take the basic cover that cost approximately €40-€150, thus making the mandatory health cover in the country one of the cheapest across the European Union for non-EU students. Most countries in the EU have mandated international students to purchase health insurance either privately or through their institutes, the cost of which will be included in their tuition fees. However, in most of these countries, even the basic health covers offered by institutes is relatively expensive as compared to the basic cover offered in Ireland earlier. Thus, for a middle class Indian student studying in Ireland, the cost of his/her insurance earlier would have been only around Rs 3,000 – Rs 10,000.
Sadly, from March 3, international students in Ireland studying for more than a year in full time programmes will have to purchase a full health cover costing them minimum €500 (Rs 40,000). With this move, the Irish government has beefed up insurance costs to match those in most other EU nations. Even earlier, the insurance covers taken in alliance with Irish universities were expensive as compared to the basic health cover, but for many students the basic cover was the most sought after. Ireland was indeed one of the few countries in the EU offering a basic health cover for a cost this low. However, this will change for students planning to move to Ireland in the coming months.