Parents 'don't necessarily' need to have health insurance for their children, consumer expert Sinead Ryan says.
Around half the population is estimated to have health insurance, and many hundreds of thousands people and families will be renewing their policy in the coming weeks and months.
On today's Hard Shoulder, Sinead - presenter of The Home Show - had some tips for those who might be renewing their plan or are maybe considering getting insurance for the first time.
In terms of cover for children, Sinead says there are some reasons people may consider it - and also reasons why it may not be necessary.
She told Kieran: "There's no private hospitals for children in the country. Most things that would end up with kids in hospital area A&E... they're going to be Crumlin, Temple Street or any one of the children's hospitals.
"There are elective procedures of course, like gromits and the usual things that can befall children... but really to take out a policy just to cover the 'what ifs' of all these small things, I'm not sure it's always needed.
"The fact is most insurance companies recognise this... every so often, they'll throw in a sop to families like 'free children under 12 if you sign up now for this expensive policies'.
"They don't have claims, and there is an argument for saying if you're really trying to save money on health insurance just insure mum and dad."
She also noted that every single policy needs to have maternity benefit and cover - but they're usually 'very low benefits'.
Public vs private
So, what are the benefits of health insurance in Ireland in the first place?
Sinead explained: "Remember you have an automatic entitlement to access your public health system.
"People with a medical card, of course, can do that without paying any charge at all - say the €100 A&E charge. But if you don't have health insurance and a medical card, the most you'll ever have to pay in a public hospital is €80 a night for a maximum of ten nights a year... that's €800.
"The health insurance is there for the time it's not A&E... it's for the times you want your cataracts done, or a joint replacement.
"It's not going to save your life, but it will queue-jump you for something you'd otherwise have to wait [for]."
She said that those with a decent insurance policy are effectively paying for a room in a semi-private ward or private room when they do end up in hospital.
However, she said insurance is an issue that also will arise if you do end up in an A&E department.
She noted: "After you're triaged, the first person you're going to meet is an administrator with a clip board.
"Their job is to claim as much money for the hospital as they can... for every public patient that's in there they get €80 a night, and for every insured patient they get €813 a night.
"You've a choice - you can say 'no, I want to be treated under the public system'... or you can say 'yes', thinking you're going to get better treatment or care. You're not, actually, because it's A&E.
"What's normally recommended by the experts in this field is to say 'I might have private health insurance... what am I going to get if I sign this form for you?'"
She said that those who do avail of private rooms will not be charged, but if all private patients did the same then it could see everyone's premium going up at the end of the year.