Private Medical Insurance
Ways To Save on your Healthcare Plan
There are quite a few things that can contribute towards the cost of your policy - claims, medical inflation and IPT (insurance premium tax).
We take a look at the most common causes of premium increase and the myths surrounding healthcare.
Perhaps the most common cause for your premiums to increase comes from making a claim. Unless you've protected your no claims bonus, making a claim can really raise the price of your renewal premium. For some people the premiums become so high that they question whether or not they can continue paying for healthcare. But this needn't be a consideration.
Often there are a multitude of options available to you to bring the price down without sacrificing your cover. We've listed some key points you should consider when your renewal comes up:
1. Ask for a discount - if you don't ask, you don't get! Usually an insurer will offer a discount rather than lose a customer.
2. Take a look at your hospital list - are you paying for hospitals that you don't actually use?
3. 6 week wait - Can you use the NHS if you were to be seen quickly?
4. Raise the excess
5. Consider another insurer - but make sure they will offer a continuation of cover
6. Therapies cover - are you paying for therapies cover? Would you be happy self funding?
Where it's recommended you make these decisions, you should consult an expert. If you chose the right one, they will help you without expecting you to lose cover. This can be done by completing something called a Customer Authorisation Form. This will allow an expert to act on your behalf to negotiate a better renewal premium.
Use Compare Your Healthcare - not only will they do this for free, but they're completely impartial, meaning they wont force you into a 'sale' and don't work for an insurer. Contact them here - https://www.cyhc.co.uk/quotepmi
Health Insurance Hacks
By Rose Waltham
Having worked in the industry for a good number of years, I've seen and heard nearly everything. The thing that has always amazed me is the complexity and difference in private medical insurance (PMI). I've seen; customers who have been sold policies they don't understand, helped in seeing through initially rejected claims and saved people in excess of £8,000 for one years premium!
Personally, I think health insurance should have it's own category - it's nothing like home or car insurance. It can be so complicated to get exactly what you want, and I've made it my career to bring a better, more comprehensive way of purchasing this cover for the individual. I work with underwriters for companies like Bupa and Aviva to secure excellent plans for my clients, so when I was asked to write a small article for the IIC, I wanted to pass on a few industry 'secrets' and help people understand this insurance.
I'm sorry to say that not all brokers and intermediaries are created equal, perhaps the most common thing I hear on a daily basis is that their insurer rejected the claim when they should have paid. This inevitably gives the insurer a bad name, but in nearly all cases, it's not the policy that's at fault, but the person who originally sold it. This can be anything from the type of underwriting not being explained properly, to the policy being registered to the wrong address meaning the local hospitals weren't covered!
So, if you're considering healthcare for the first time, or thinking of saving a few pounds - I've put together a few tips to ensure you have a crystal clear policy that gives you cover when you need it the most.
Use an intermediary - it's almost impossible to purchase a private plan without proper training & knowledge. You can see my recommendations below.
Make sure your hospitals are covered - sounds simple, but I've come across so many policies that send people 20+ miles away for their nearest clinic.
Always ask for an offer - at some point in time one insurer or another is offering vouchers or months free - always ask
Review your policy every year - you won't believe the policy and price changes 12 months can bring.
Check the exact wording on the underwriting - some types of underwriting don't even require a form, so it's very easy not to pay attention
Children - in some cases children can be added to a policy for no extra charge - if you're a grand parent this might be worth asking about
Use an intermediary that works with all the major insurers - in some cases a so called impartial intermediary can be working on behalf of one insurer.
Check the FCA register - Use a directly authorised company - this generally means they are completely impartial and free to offer whatever's best for the client, not for the insurer
Annual payment - if you can afford it, annual payments usually add a 5% discount.
Remember the cooling off period - you will typically have 14 days after the renewal date to decide what action you should take, so don't let anyone pressure you!
If you really want to get the best option at renewal, bare these things in mind and use an intermediary - I've worked for several companies, know many insurers and visited brokerages - visit Compare Your Healthcare www.cyhc.co.uk. They won't charge and work with all the major insurers.
Good luck in finding your perfect healthcare plan!
R. Waltham - Healthacrare consultant