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I live in Germany and here, if someone does not work or is NOT on jobseeker status, he or she should pay their own health insurance. Its actually illegal not paying some form of personal health insurance.

My question is if this is the same in Ireland. Am I obliged by law to buy for myself a health insurance (usually private but can also be one of the public funds)?

Is it an obligation?

(yes I know as EU citizen I can carry with me the EHIC card but that at some point does expire)

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What is your status in Ireland? Are you just visiting, or do you have some sort of residency status? –  Flimzy Nov 8 '13 at 3:23
    
Sorry I should have mentioned. I want to live at least 5 years and maybe open my own business (small one, im nt sure it will sustain me). I definetally want to be permanent citizen and use my EU rights when possible. Thanks –  uglycrabs Nov 8 '13 at 5:23
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I don't know if there is a blanket health insurance mandate in Ireland but as a EU citizen you most likely need to have health insurance. This is rarely enforced but you could even be asked to leave if you don't have sufficient means (but see what France has been doing recently). The logic behind this is that, under EU rules, if you are not working, you should not be a burden to the state you are moving to (and Ireland offers free health care to people with a low income). EU citizens have many rights (including working) but can't move to a place just to get welfare and free health care. –  Annoyed Nov 8 '13 at 8:28
    
Opening a small business might actually make things easier in this respect because there is a bunch of articles in the treaties specifically about that (you would be covered by the “freedom of establishment” or the “freedom to provide services” and not merely by the “freedom of movement” for non-economically active people). I have absolutely no information on how it works in practice in Ireland. Note that all this is generally considered off-topic on this site. –  Annoyed Nov 8 '13 at 8:33
    
I am not burden to any state in EU, I dont take money for anything (when actually I could) as I am not official jobseeker status. My only problem is paying by obligation a health insurance, usually private. In Germany thats an obligation. I wonder if its also an obligation in ireland or its ok to pay cash a doctor whenever I need a doctor. Thanks for the reply though I did not know about the freedom of establishment! I definetally want to operate a business and maybe employ one more person in it. –  uglycrabs Nov 8 '13 at 8:51
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First there is no legal requirement to have health insurance for anyone. Ireland has both a public and a private health system. Anyone can pay to see a doctor (about 50€) and you can go to a hospital as a private patient and pay for your treatment (€€€€)

If you are an EU citizen OR are legally resident in Ireland you can avail of the 'free' public health system (not actually free, as most people have to pay for GP doctors visits and prescribed drugs).

This page has more details Health Care in Ireland

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