As of October 2020, there are around 4 million people in the UK who pay for private healthcare and, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and despite financial uncertainty, this number continues to rise. However, many people don’t realise that the process of obtaining and taking out an effective private health insurance policy is potentially quite complex in itself, with costs being a potential major issue for many customers.
Can I Reduce My Private Health Insurance Costs?
Cutting healthcare insurance costs usually requires a degree of compromise, but there are some ways in which you can potentially cut down the monthly costs quite significantly including:
- Check work benefits
- Stick to core and main benefits
- Put a cap on hospital choices
- Downgrade your insurance policy
- Pay annually
- Look around and get quotes from a decent amount of insurance companies
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Checking Your Work Benefits
It is worth checking to see if you are eligible for a health insurance policy through your workplace, or seeing if there is an option to sign up.
Some companies offer health insurance as an employee benefit; therefore, you would only be paying a smaller part of the overall cost. You could potentially save 60% to 80% on the overall premium depending on the amount of tax you pay if health insurance is provided as a free benefit at your place of work.
Stick to Core and Main Benefits
It is also helpful if you do some research into whether or not there are any benefits in your policy that you can in fact do without.
Most health insurance policies offer optional benefits that can be added on to your original cover and policy such as mental health and cancer cover. You may find that some benefit options on your cover are expensive, so sacrificing one option could even save you up to £70 or even £100 a year.
Put a Cap on Hospital Choices
Most UK health insurance policies cover a wide range of private hospitals for you to potentially be treated at and some policies charge extra for this as well as a wide range of specialists. You could save hundreds a year if you choose to travel even just a little further for your treatment.
Downgrade Your Insurance Policy
Of course, there are various different health insurance policies with different levels of cover, such as basic, intermediate and comprehensive levels of cover. You can check to see which type of cover you have and whether or not you can downgrade.
Basic health insurance cover will typically only provide cover for treatment; intermediate health insurance cover will typically pay out for treatment and limited diagnostics and comprehensive health insurance cover will cover you fully for both treatment and full diagnostics (consultancy, tests, scans and x-rays.)
Making compromises such as being diagnosed and referred by your GP and NHS hospital by switching from a comprehensive cover to a basic cover, could save you up to £50 per month in some (but not all) cases.
Paying Your Premium Annually
When calculated, paying your medical insurance premium annually instead of monthly could help you save around 5% a year. If for example, you pay around £50 per month you could save around £30 in a year by making the switch from monthly to annual premiums.
Shopping Around for Different Insurance Quotes
Much like other types of insurance, it is always recommended for you to get multiple quotes from difference health insurance companies. Firstly, you should have a look at the benefits from a number of different companies, making note and seeing if there is anything you can compromise or do without. Once you have done this, you should compare the benefits you want and consider your options, as you could find a cheaper cover elsewhere.
It is also recommended you seek advice from independent health insurance experts, as the process can very much be confusing and time-consuming.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Although it may be easier said than done, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can really save you money on your health insurance premiums. Although this may not be possible with some medical conditions and diseases, some health insurance companies come up with ways to reward customers (such as cashback offers, discounted gym memberships) for staying healthy and completing health-related tasks.
Can I Switch to Another Health Insurance Policy Without Losing Cover?
Usually yes, it is possible to switch to another health insurance policy without losing cover. CPME (continuing personal medical exclusion) underwriting means you can switch policies without losing cover for medical conditions that arise during your cover on the original policy
What Factors Will Affect the Cost of My Health Insurance?
Your current health and medical history is usually the main important factor for health insurance companies. Smokers can expect higher health insurance premiums than non-smokers, as well as age and your general health (find out more here.)
What Will Health Insurance Not Cover?
Normally, health insurance companies do not cover: