With so many options on the market, finding private health insurance is not as easy as spending 5 minutes on a price comparison site. To get the most out of your cover, you need to make sure it’s as tailored to your needs and budget as it can be - and that takes work. Luckily, this is what we’re good at!
Chase Templeton are health insurance brokers – this means we find out what you’re looking for, and scan the UK insurance market to find the private health insurance policy that’s perfect for you. Plus, our advice is completely independent, expert based and free to you, so there’s no reason not to ask us!
If you did want to think about your policy options before getting in touch, read on for our advice…
First things first, are you even looking for the right type of medical policy?
If you’re on a limited budget, a Health Cash Plan might actually be what you’re after. If you’re only looking for very specific treatments, you may need specialist cover – like dental insurance for example.
If your existing policy has just come up for renewal, it might be a good time to look at the market and see if there are any alternative providers and policies that might suit you and your budget better.
This is something we can help you with. If your policy covers pre-existing medical conditions or there are any aspects of your cover which are particularly important to you we can assess your needs and consider whether a new policy would provide the type of health cover you are looking for.
Health insurance policies come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, depending on what level of cover you want, and what your budget is.
As a rule of thumb, the more circumstances you want your insurance to cover, the more expensive your policy may be. On the other hand it is sometimes possible to add more people to your policy and reduce costs.
So, it is important to discuss your needs and your budget with your adviser. They can advise you of the many ways to keep the cost of your insurance manageable and within budget. See what affects the cost of health insurance.
Some workplaces already include health insurance as a company benefit , so you may not need to find your own!
Even if the health insurance is part of a ‘voluntary plan’, meaning your employer doesn’t pay for it, this policy may still be offered at a lower rate than the rest of the market can access, so always check beforehand.
If you travel abroad a lot, or spend a lot of time in a country other than the UK, international medical insurance may be a good option for you.
These policies will provide access to private treatment while you are abroad. These policies are usually more expensive than UK private health insurance policies, but can be worth it if you know you won’t be in the UK for over 6 months of the year.
Many private health insurance policies will let you claim on your insurance straight away – however if your claim is related to a pre-existing it could be excluded from your cover.
Depending on your policy underwriting and the benefits included in your cover your claim may or may not be covered, so if this is a concern, speak to your Chase Templeton adviser before taking out your policy.
We completely understand – if you’ve been with the same insurance provider for years you might not want to change! However, in that time frame, the UK insurance market may have changed vastly, and there might be policies available that are more suited to you.
There could even be policies by the same insurer that you don’t know about yet, which is why we always recommend seeing what your options are by using an insurance broker.
Underwriting is the process by which your insurance company assesses your ‘risk’ and makes sure it’ll be cost effective to offer you cover.
There are a few different types of underwriting, and each will affect both the cost and the level of cover of your policy. Two types of underwriting you could consider if you are taking out an individual or family policy are:
Your insurance companies will normally ask routine medical questions either before you take out a policy, or when you make a claim. Your insurers will have the right to ask your doctor for relevant information from your medical records, so you should never lie about any previous conditions.
A pre-existing medical condition is any illness, injury, sickness or medical condition that existed before you took out your health insurance policy.
Your insurance company will want to know if you’ve had any of these conditions in the past, because they need to assess the risk that you’ll have the same or related conditions in the future.
Some health insurance policies now include ‘rewards’ or additional extras designed to help you stay healthy, and encourage a positive lifestyle.
For example, Aviva offer reduced premiums to policyholders who follow their Health Lifestyle Programme, and Vitality’s Rewards include gym membership, holidays, cinema tickets, Starbucks and the Allen Carr Stop Smoking programme.
Outpatient care is when you have treatment in a hospital or clinic, but don’t need medically supervised recovery, or to stay in the hospital overnight.
Not all private health insurance policies will cover out-patient treatment, and some only do at an additional cost, so seek advice from a broker if this is something you’re interested in.
A hospital list is all of the facilities your insurance policy will allow you to be treated in. The more comprehensive policies include more exclusive hospital lists, and a London-inclusive hospital list is the most expensive.
Think about where you spend the most time and where you would want to receive treatment.
Some health insurance policies offer cheaper premiums on the agreement that you can only claim a certain level of costs back a year.
A lot of private health insurance policies now include access to private GP helplines – via phone or video – where you can consult a doctor and even receive prescriptions from the comfort of your own home. Ask your Chase Templeton advisor which policies include this benefit.
Diagnostic tests help your doctor or consultant find out more about your condition. These are typically not included on the most basic and low cost insurance policies as they are classed as ‘outpatient treatments’, so check before you buy if this is something you’d like included.
Ask your Chase Templeton advisor if you’d like a policy including dental.
Open Referral systems help insurers manage their costs by limiting your treatment to a set of pre-approved doctors and consultants. On the one hand, you have cheaper insurance premiums, but on the other hand you may have a limited choice of places to access treatment.
Cover for physiotherapy is often included as an optional extra on most health insurance policies, although some comprehensive plans may include this as standard.
It’s common to have inpatient physio covered (for example following a surgery) but to pay extra to have cover for outpatient or standalone physio. It you take part in sporting activities, this may well be something you want to consider.
Mental health or psychiatric cover could allow you access to a range of therapies and treatments relating to depression, anxiety, stress and other mental illnesses.
Not all health insurance policies include this as standard, so if this is something you’re interested in mention it to your Chase Templeton adviser.
Alternate therapies , sometimes known as complementary therapies, holistic therapies or traditional medicines, could include: Chiropractic, Homeopathy and Acupuncture.
There’s therapies are often included on a health insurance plan as additional extras (at an additional cost), so if they’re something you think you might need in the future be sure to add them to your policy.
Some of the benefits and treatments available for cancer will vary depending on the level of cover you choose.
Some insurance providers pride themselves on their exceptional coverage for cancer, so if this is something you’d like you policy to cover comprehensively then ask your Chase Templeton adviser.
Pregnancy is not normally covered under a UK health insurance policy. However, if you are looking for cover for pregnancy related complications then it is worth discussing this with you Chase Templeton adviser.
A 6 Week Wait on your insurance is a way to reduce the cost of your premiums – it means that you agree to be treated by the NHS provided the waiting list for your treatment is six weeks or less. If the waiting list is longer than six weeks, you continue with private health care as you would normally.
Your excess is the amount you contribute to the cost of your claim. As a rule of thumb, the higher the excess amount the lower your premiums, and vice versa. pay your insurance.
However, you must bear in mind whether you can afford to pay a high excess amount in the event that you need to make a claim.
As you’ve just seen, there are a lot of factors to consider when finding a health insurance policy that’s going to work for you! These are all factors that price comparison sites struggle to take into account, as they focus on giving you the cheapest policy, regardless of whether that covers all your needs.
This is why insurance brokers exist – we work with all the UK’s leading insurance providers so can easily search the market and recommend a policy we think will fit you, and your family.
Our services are completely free to you, and our independent experts are renowned for their impartial and personable advice.
For a no-obligation quote, why not contact us today?