Health Insurance Cost Cutters

How does 100% off the cost of next year’s health insurance premium sound?
This is on offer through the Prudential Insurance Company’s Pruehealth. They offer their Comprehensive Plan and here are the details, based on a 40 year old non smoker in good health: The monthly payment for a male would be £62.85 and for a female £66.43, there is an excess of £100. The premium is reduced if you gain “vitality” points and this is how it works:

At the end of the first year there is a discount of 25% and you earn further points and therefore further discounts, by improving your health. Measures such as reducing your blood pressure, taking fitness assessments and regularly visiting the gym are encouraged. Cheap gym membership is on offer. There is a website offering encouragement and handy tips about diet and exercise.

When checked with other medical insurance policies, the Pruehealth policy mentioned above came out more expensive than those of General Medical, Health-on-line and Axa PPP. General Medical, for example, offers their Foundation Plus First Choice policy. The premium again based on a 40 year old non-smoker, male or female, is £48.05. The excess is £100.

As the cost of insurance rises with age, inevitably the insurers are going to have to recoup their costs. Some work their premiums out based on age bands and the cost of insurance can jump sharply as you move up from 40 to 49, 50 to 59 and so on. Rather than sudden increases in the premium, many companies increase by a smaller amount, but apply this yearly.

At a time when private medical insurance seems to be roaring away and the very people that need it most are starting to cancel their policies, it’s clear that something needs to be done. Medical inflation accounts for an 8% rise in premiums per year, as new drugs and diagnostic equipment cost soar.

Consumers can feel reassured by some of the latest changes on offer in a bid to address the problem. One idea is suggested by Penny O’Nions, of the specialist broker Onions Group. They have a plan which covers inpatient care only. Any private outpatient care would have to come out of your own pocket and whilst most serious illnesses such as cancer would involve hospitalisation, increasingly these are treated in outpatient facilities and therefore wouldn’t be covered.

An excess on your policy (the part you pay yourself in the event of a claim) can gain large savings in your premium. By paying an excess of £100 you could save around 10% and if you’re prepared for an even bigger excess, say £2000, you could halve the amount you pay. This effectively puts a ceiling on the costs of illness.

No claims discounts usually apply to these types of policies and you should be able to transfer these if you decide to “jump ship”.

As you can see, there’s a vast range of options. Many people stick to the same old policies, feeling it’s just not worth the effort of transferring but in fact it couldn’t be easier. Just go to your favourite search engine, search for insurance brokers and find one which offers health insurance. They’ll take your circumstances into account and find the best deal for you. There’ll be the additional bonus of an on-line discount.

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