Your health is your wealth or is it?

With the lifetime community rating (LCR ) now in place, it is worth bearing in mind that not having private health insurance does not mean that you can not get access to top quality healthcare if you want. If you are willing to bear the full costs of treatment, then you can have all the top quality healthcare you want, when you want. It is just that many people could never afford it.

So what else could you be doing to protect your financial security if you suffer an accident, illness, or injury?

What many people do not immediately realise is that your health is not the only thing to take a knock if you are unfortunate to fall ill or have an accident that leaves you incapacitated. While the wonders of modern medicine - public and private - can have you back on your feet within days or weeks, for some people it can take months and even years before they can return to work.

If that is the case then the financial consequences can be troubling. Many employers do not provide sick pay. Those who do provide it, usually only do so for six months. After that you would be reliant on the State Illness Benefit which is just €188 per week for a single person. If you are self-employed then neither sick pay cover nor State Disability applies. So you can easily see how your finances might well be the next thing to suffer if your health does.

Fortunately, income protection is a financial product that is specifically designed to help you cope with the financial consequences of any accident or illness that leaves you unable to work and earn an income.

Not only is income protection affordable, but like private health insurance, you will enjoy tax relief on any premiums you pay which makes it doubly attractive for the times we are living in. What income protection does is provide you with an alternative source of income for the duration of your recovery, either until you return to work or reach retirement age. The policy will begin to pay you an income of up to 75 per cent of your normal income after a waiting/deferred period of between 13 weeks and 12 months. If you are hospitalised during your deferred period, your income protection policy will still pay you a replacement income for each day of your hospital stay.

How you use your alternative income is up to you. If you do not have private health insurance then it could help you cover some of the costs of treatment, just like your normal income could. Most of all, it will help cover many of your day-to-day living expenses such as your mortgage or rent, utility bills, groceries, fuel, education fees, and so on.

Even if you do have private health insurance, remember that while it is designed to cover some or all of the costs of your treatment, it will not replace your income if you are too ill or injured to work. Plus, even when your active treatment and medical care has ended, it can still be a long time before you are ready to return to the workforce.

Talk to Fahey Financial Solutions about what protection plans you need to look after your health and your lifestyle. It will give you a range of competitive quotes and compare any existing cover you may have against what is currently available in the marketplace.

Fahey Financial Solutions Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


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