Calculating your health insurance cost
When it comes to calculating the cost of personal health insurance, we recommend that you take the following steps to ensure you get the most competitive policy available to you.
Have an idea in your mind of the following:
● The affordability of your monthly or annual premium
● The amount of excess you’re prepared to pay in the event of a claim
● Whether you’d prefer a core cover policy, or if you’d like access to additional treatments such as mental health, or additional benefits such as travel, dental and therapies.
● Are you able to pay for the diagnosis yourself, and only have cover for medical treatment costs?
● Do you need access to complementary therapies, such as physiotherapy?
It’s good to know the above before you start scoping out policies because otherwise, you could end up paying for things you don’t need, or not paying for things you wanted to be included. If you’re still weighing up whether health insurance would benefit you, read our post ‘is health insurance worth it?’.
Once you have a picture of what you’d like your health insurance to do for you, you should start comparing health insurance policies. This will help you to obtain a whole of market view of the policies on offer to you through different providers. You’ll also understand how much premium you’ll have to pay to get all of the health insurance inclusions you’re opting for. We highly recommend that everyone considering health insurance uses the expertise of an independent health insurance specialist; it’s usually a free service, and they can guide you through the decision-making process, explain the risks, advantages and disadvantages of policies, and ultimately it’ll help you find a competitive health insurance policy.
Want a hand negotiating your insurance policy?Contact one of the team
How to keep your health insurance cost down
If you can see the benefits of health insurance and you’re considering investing in your health and looking to take a policy out, there are some smart ways for you to keep the cost down without impacting your access to a comprehensive policy.
Opt for a higher excess
If you’re willing to pay a higher excess in the event of a claim on your policy, then this may be an effective way to bring your monthly or annual premium down without affecting your benefit or cover.
Your excess will work in one of the following ways:
- You have a maximum excess you can pay every year, up to a certain amount regardless of how many treatments you have
- You pay a minimum excess on every medical treatment you have, irrespective of how many you receive within a year.
- You opt for a policy with no excess, but will likely pay a higher premium.
- Shared Responsibility; you pay 25% towards claims for all eligible treatments up to a ‘capped’ amount. For example, if your shared responsibility is capped at £500 in one policy year, you’ll only pay up to that amount.
If you’d like a helping hand understanding which excess may work best for you, or you’d like to understand how they work in more detail, our health insurance specialists are on hand to advise.
Use in conjunction with the NHS
Health insurance is designed to cover eligible treatment for acute medical conditions where there is a medical necessity and is by no means a replacement for NHS services. If you’re conscious of the price, bear in mind that you’ll still have access to the NHS regardless of whether you have a health insurance policy or not.
Tip: Some health insurers will offer no claims discounts. Consider using the NHS for minor conditions to protect this and save money on future policies.
Research your preferred hospitals
The majority of health insurance providers have different hospital lists for you to choose from. There are some hospitals, such as those in London, that will cost more due to their location, and others that will be cheaper to access. Realistically, you should only opt for hospitals that, in the event of needing medical treatment, you’d be happy to travel to. Research private hospitals local to you and consider hospitals that are specialised for specific treatments, you may want them included even if you don’t live nearby.
Always go through a policy comparison
If you’re not going through a private health insurance comparison process, then you’re potentially paying for a policy that isn’t as competitive as the other options available. As all health insurance policies are unique, you’ll never find the exact one elsewhere, but you may find a more valuable policy that fits your requirements better at a competitive price.
Switch and save
If you already hold a health insurance policy, ask us about our switch and save offers - you may be able to save money by changing your provider. This is usually based on whether you’ve made a claim on your existing policy, and not every provider will offer this. If you’d like to find out whether you’re eligible, get in touch and see if we can save you money by switching provider!
Unsurprisingly, some health insurance providers do not look favourably on smokers; they’re much more likely to require medical treatment. Not only will you have access to more competitive insurance policies if you quit smoking, but you’ll also be doing yourself a long term health favour.
Tip: The time you’re considered a smoker may last up to 1-2 years since you last smoked, so check with your provider.
If you have a family member or a friend who’s also considering health insurance, you may both be able to save money on a multi-person policy. Bear in mind that usually, you’ll be on the same level of cover, so make sure that your requirements for a health insurance policy are the same. If you can make it work, multi-person coverage can be a great way to keep the cost of your health insurance premium down.
Medical underwriting is how health insurance providers define your policy exclusions based on your medical history. There are various types of underwriting available, and the cheapest one for you won’t necessarily be the best one for the coverage you’d like. We’ve talked about medical underwriting in more detail in our blog how does private health insurance work, so check that out or get in contact if you’d like more information.
Inpatient & outpatient cover
Having access to outpatient treatments on your health insurance policy is likely to increase your premium, and if you’re happy to have these services completed by the NHS, you could save money on your health insurance by opting for a policy that only covers inpatient services.
Health insurance providers will often offer additional services that aren’t included as standard, such as dental care, vision care, physiotherapy, mental health, access to private GPs etc. If you’re not interested in extra cover or additional benefits, simply opt out. If you currently have access to these on your policy, but you don’t feel you’re utilising them, removing these on your future policy is likely to reduce your premium.
Members reward schemes
This may only apply once you’ve purchased a policy with a provider, but many offer incentives and price reductions to their members’. For example, Vitality members are rewarded when they take healthy actions such as walking a certain amount of steps or tracking their fitness routines. Some providers will also offer a no claims discount to their policyholders, resulting in cheaper future policies when they renew without a previous claim.
Should you opt for cheap health insurance?
While the idea of purchasing a cheap health insurance policy sounds appealing, you may find that you’re only offered very generic policies that aren’t personalised around you or have significant limitations. However, we advise our customers that you don’t need to purchase a cheap health insurance policy to keep the price down.
A health insurance policy should be built around you. In doing so, you’ll remove unnecessary inclusions that you’re not interested in, and end up with a refined policy that has you covered at a competitive premium and meets all of your requirements. This may take some negotiating and comparing across policy providers, requiring you to speak to insurers directly to get their most comprehensive policy offerings.
We’ll work out your private health insurance cost for you
That’s where we come in. We’ll work with you to build the best policy for the premium you’re willing to pay, and we’ll compare and negotiate with health insurance providers on your behalf to secure the policy.
Ready to talk about a health insurance policy for you?Talk to a specialist