Health insurance for retirees

Planning your health plan in retirement is essential; Will you be using the NHS, or do you see the benefit to opting for private treatment? In this blog, we’ll be covering the options available to you and what to expect.
July 30, 2019
minutes read time

How does healthcare fit into retirement?

Why is healthcare in retirement so important? Simply put, you’re more likely to require medical treatment as you enter later life. The below graph details the average amount spent each year by individual retirees in the UK, as well as some information about other average spending.

Source: Which?

Healthcare can be a worrying factor for retirees; while you may not be able to avoid complications, allocating some of your retirement funds can give you peace of mind and help you access the care you need. We also advise that retirees read the most recent Age UK publication about later life. It details useful facts about what to expect in terms of health complications, implications, and it reinforces why healthcare is so important. So, what are your options for accessing treatment and health services?

Public healthcare

Your access to NHS healthcare doesn’t change when you retire. You’ll always have the option to use this service, granted that you remain a UK resident. You may find, however, that through a health insurance policy, you’re able to receive diagnosis faster than in comparison to the NHS 18-week commitment.

Private healthcare

You can access private medical treatment in several ways; you may opt to pay for any treatments in-full yourself, or you can purchase a private health insurance policy. Private health insurance policies will cover you for a multitude of treatments, subject to T&Cs, for a monthly or annual premium. To help you make your decision, we’ve published the below resources that look into the cost of the options available to you.

  1. How much does private healthcare cost? - What you can expect to pay for private treatments in the UK
  2. How much is private health insurance? - The factors that make up the price of health insurance

What do we recommend?

Many personal factors influence your decision on whether private or public healthcare is right for you in retirement. We’ve published a blog looking into the benefits of private healthcare that we encourage retirees to read. You’ll learn about what private care can offer you and, from this, you’ll be in good stead to make an informed decision. If at any time you’d like to speak to one of our trained brokers directly, please contact us. We’d be happy to talk you through the options available.

Continuation of company health insurance after leaving

If you were previously covered for private medical insurance under your employer, you might have the option to continue with a personal policy. You may even qualify for a plan without further medical underwriting, with ongoing and existing conditions still covered, subject to T&C. If you were previously covered under your employer, our specialists can help you to find a competitive continuation policy across the leading UK providers.

What affects the cost of retiree health insurance?

On average, you can expect to pay more for health insurance as an over 65 or retiree in comparison to other age brackets. Here are a few of the things providers take into consideration that dictate your policy premium:

  • Age - the price of health insurance rises with age.
  • Medical history - past treatment or conditions may impact the policies available to you and how much your premium will cost.
  • Medical underwriting - the type of underwriting you require, such as whether you’re continuing a previous policy, may affect the price you pay
  • Hospital access - depending on your location, access to hospitals you’d like included can increase your premium
  • Special requirements - If you have any special requirements or treatments you need included within your policy, this may influence the price
  • Smoking status - if you’re an active smoker, this will adversely affect your policy premium
  • Policy additions - if you need a health insurance policy that includes optional cover such as dental, your policy premium will reflect this additional cover of care

Keeping the cost down

As a retiree, you might find that your policy is more expensive than other age groups. However, there are a few tips that you can take into account to ensure you’re receiving the most competitive policy available, without restricting your access to care. The following can help to reduce your policy premium:

  • Opt for higher excess payments when you need treatment
  • Reduce your hospital list to only include facilities you know you need
  • Consider a 4 or 6-week option; if you need to receive treatment in hospital that can be provided by the NHS within 4 or 6 weeks (depending on your policy), then you won’t be able to claim on your health insurance.
  • Go through a comparison process to ensure you’re getting the most competitive policy available. We recommend every retiree to go through a comparison process, more on this below.

Comparing health insurance for retirees

Because of the category you’re in for health insurance, it is likely your policy may be more complicated than say, a 25 year old looking for health insurance. It’s common for over 65s to have a medical history and run into health complications in the future. The underwriting included in your policy, or the terms of your continuation policy are fundamental to ensure you’re receiving the best policy for you. It could have a significant impact on the price, but more importantly, the treatments that you’re covered for. If you’re not comparing the policy & underwriting options available, you may be missing out on a policy better suited to your retirement plans.

We’ll compare the options for you

Get your most competitive health insurance policy

Specialists in retiree & pensioner health insurance

Health insurance can be complicated for anyone, but it can be even more so for retirees who have more to consider in terms of their medical history and their future plans. Our team understand the complications of retiree health insurance, and we’ll work with your unique requirements to compare your options across providers.

You’ll receive a no-obligation independent review of the policy options available, and we’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have. After talking to us, you’ll be provided with a single most-competitive policy option that suits your needs. As part of our service, we want to ensure that health insurance is sustainable going forward. We’ll review your policy annually to ensure it remains within your budget and that the policy continues to meet your requirements.

Get in touch for a no obligation quote

Contact Equity Health