Health Insurance Cover for Lymphoedema

We have been trying to get information about insurance cover for lymphoedema treatment.  The Health Insurance Authority wasn’t able to help.

We emailed all 3 Irish health insurance companies and asked what cover they had for each of the following:

  1. Complete Decongestive Therapy [CDT]
  2. Manual Lymphatic Drainage [MLD]
  3. Compression garments
  4. Bandages
  5. Pumps or other devices
  6. Treatment in specialist lymphoedema clinics abroad
    [e.g. Foldi Clinic in Germany, Wittlinger Clinic in Austria]

To date,  Irish Life Health and VHI have replied to us.  See their detailed response on the next pages.

We will write to the CEOs of the other  company and will post their response here when we get it.

Summary of Cover

Note that the level of cover varies from plan to plan.  Please check the detail with the insurance company directly.

summary of cover

MLD Cover by Company

We took the most expensive plans from each company to see which was the best possible cover from each company [in case we win the Lotto!].

  • Irish Life Health: €40 x 5 visits [not restricted to post-cancer].
  • Laya Healthcare: Full refund up to €500 per year [post cancer treatment only]
  • VHI: €50 x 10 visits [post cancer treatment only]

You will need to check the plan you want to see if it has the cover [also check the excess].  It looks as though Laya has the best cover for post-cancer people with a full refund up to €500 per year [regardless of the number and actual cost of visits].  Whereas if you have not had cancer, then Irish Life Health is the only option.

Garments by Company

  • Irish Life Health: None
  • Laya Healthcare: 50% of cost up to €200. GP or Consultant report required.
  • VHI: Amount depends on plan.  Excess of €300 per year for garments.  Consultant letter required.