We both have medical cards so what is the best health plan for us?
Q My wife and myself are mid 70s. We have health insurance with Laya Healthcare. Three years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes and my wife has an underactive thyroid. Our doctor takes care of those. We both have full medical cards. When I was diagnosed, I phoned Laya and they recommended Flex 500 explore costing €2,134 per annum for both of us, with an excess of €450. Our doctor sends us mainly for consultations which is not covered by our plan. We have spent €600 in the past year. I feel with the plan we have, we don’t really have health insurance cover at all, unless we go into a hospital. Should I stay on this plan or change at renewal?
A We asked Dermot Goode ofTotalHealthCover.ie and he recommends a change in cover based on your age and medical history. The problem with the current plan is that it has very high excesses for private hospital admissions – a €500 excess will apply to each admission and this reduces to €150 for every day case procedure. Mr Goode said it is correct that this is a hospital benefit plan with no guaranteed refunds on out-patient expenses, which does not match your requirements. If you want similar cover with lower excesses to pay, you could consider the Laya Essential Health 300 scheme, costing €1,094 compared with €1,031 each on the current plan. However, he recommends you consider the Laya Simply Connect corporate scheme, at €1,361 each. The excesses are much lower at €150 per admission, or €50 for day-case procedures, and this plan includes guaranteed refunds on a range of eligible out-patient expenses with no excess to pay up to €500 per member, Mr Goode said.
Q I signed up for a subscription about two years ago and now I can’t find the account details to stop it. What can I do?
A This is a relatively common issue, according to Frank Conway, founder of financial wellbeing provider MoneyWhizz and a qualified financial adviser. Generally, it should be possible to contact the service provider and instruct them that you no longer wish to subscribe to whatever product or service they sell. However, this is not always the case. For some reason, there can be service providers that make it difficult to contact them to cancel that subscription. One of the options that you have at your disposal is via the credit card or debit card issuer. For example, in a recent case the subscriber had originally purchased a service from an overseas company via their Bank of Ireland credit card. The company was legitimate but there were no obvious service cancellation options available to the customer, Mr Conway said. So, they called Bank of Ireland credit card services to ask what their options were. The bank representative advised that they could put an instruction in place that they no longer wished to make payments to the company in the future, in other words, a note would be added to the credit card account. So, next time the subscription came up for renewal, the individual would be able to request a charge-back from the service provider. If this is a legitimate company, it should resolve the matter as the non-payment, or charge-back at your end, should mean the service is cancelled.
Q I had small investments in bank shares (AIB, BOI and Anglo) all of which were lost during the financial crash of 2008 onwards. I never claimed these losses for capital gains tax but now wish to sell some shares in which a capital gain will arise. Are the losses, which occurred years ago, allowable on current capital gains?
A In general, the loss must be realised. This means the assets must be disposed of for (capital gains tax) CGT purposes, according to Mark Corcoran ofTaxback.com. Relief for loss is granted in the year of assessment, in other words, when the assets are disposed of. The loss is set against chargeable gains in the same tax year, he said. Any allowable loss which is unused may be carried forward to future years of assessment. CGT losses cannot be carried back for previous tax years. If you don’t have chargeable gains in the same tax year you have made a loss, you are not obliged to include that loss on your tax return. You should keep evidence of the loss made, in case Revenue challenge your claim, Mr Corcoran said. Revenue may request you to deliver a return for the loss made in order to accept your claim and set that loss against your current chargeable gains.
Read the leading stories from the world of business.
This field is required