One of the most common statements we hear is "Why has my health insurance gone up so much, we haven’t even claimed?'
Well there are a number of factors that makes one ponder on the worthiness and quality of their cover, or is it just a case of the insurance company taking us for a ride? Some of you may not be able to move your cover due to pre-existing medical conditions, but it’s always worth looking at all of the options.
Well let’s take a look at what might be contributing to these factors.
1. Medical inflation, there is just no getting away from this, it’s what the insurers use to increase their premiums based on the ever increasing cost of medical treatment. It’s much higher than normal inflation and we are looking at around an 8-10% increase generally.
2. Age; well here is a factor that we just cannot control, so we have to live with it. The problem is the older we get the more expensive the health insurance becomes. So how do we combat this, I will touch on this later.
3. Claims, depending on the company, and of course the nature of the claim, this could have a dramatic effect on premium increases.
4. Hospital lists, this makes a difference too, and if you have central London hospitals included in your cover you could find yourself paying for the privilege of that central London consultant, and this in turn can make things very expensive.
So now that you have 4 reasons as to why the premiums go up, here are 4 ways of trying to keep those premiums down.
1. Try and pick a mutual company, or a company that does not penalise with claims. Nobody wants to see their premiums increase because they are claiming. Mutual companies include companies like CS Healthcare, WPA & Exeter Friendly, they say they are not for profit, but you tell me which successful company doesn't make a profit? And if they do, they plough the profits back into their products, and don’t have shareholders back pockets to fill. There are a couple of commercial companies like April UK and Freedom that do not penalise based on claims, and it’s great that some companies can do this.
2. Pick a hospital list that is local to you, why would you want to trek into London when you live all the way in Manchester? Unless you really want that London specialist! Sometimes it’s a tough call to make, but generally the services you get can be just as good in one private hospital as the other. Furthermore most people who live outside of London do not really want to be travelling when they are ill.
3. Getting older, and worried about those ever rising premiums….? well there are elements of your policy you can look at. Have you heard of a six week option in a plan? Drastically reducing premiums but still giving you that peace of mind. Ok, so it’s not for everyone, and not every insurer offers this, but you can still visit a private consultant at any time, and if the NHS can’t see you within six weeks as an inpatient, then you can go privately for your inpatient cover. The great thing is that most outpatient appointments are covered privately, and this in turn gives you a real saving.
4. Use a broker who is going to make a difference with your plan, and who is going to give you the service you deserve, and will work for you when its needed most, having said this, that goes with all insurance!
The information in this article is not direct advice but general guidance and should not be used unless you have professional advice, and your current cover is not compromised. We hope it helps, and please use it to share with your brokers if you have one.
Tags: medical inflation age hospital lists mutual company penalise not for profit broker