Everything You Need to Know About Family Health Insurance

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Families become your priority in life. While you can’t always protect them from specific health ailments or injuries, you can give them the best possible care on the road to recovery.

Family health insurance is a plan that assures prospective policyholders that their families will have private medical treatment should any acute conditions occur. If you’re considering purchasing a policy, we have everything you need to know about family health insurance in this guide, starting with an in-depth definition.

What is Family Health Insurance?

Family health insurance is a private health insurance policy that covers medical care for yourself and all identified members of your family. These usually include your spouse, your children, and any immediate family dependent of the policyholder.

Children incorporated into a policy are eligible for the plan’s coverage until they reach the age of 18. However, varying factors can include enrollment in full-time education or other circumstances that extend their eligibility.

Plans cover symptoms, treatments, and consultations in private medical care for your family should there be any injuries, diseases, or illnesses.

Many prospective policyholders weigh whether getting a family health insurance plan is a considerable investment. This consideration is in part to the NHS being available for spouses and children should any need for medical care arise.

We can look at the reasoning why this private insurance plan can safeguard the health of your whole family.

Why Should I Get Family Health Insurance?

We compare plans from the leading health insurance providers

The NHS is a fantastic organization offering free medical care to anyone registered. However, public healthcare doesn’t come without concerns. The increased strain on the NHS has led to some difficulties in medical care, including

  • Increased waiting times
  • Limited available treatments
  • Less comfortable stays in the facilities

Those worries trickle over into concerns for our family. We want them to receive the best possible care immediately should there be any sudden illnesses or injuries.

Family health insurance gives a policyholder peace of mind that their family will receive excellent private medical care under the terms of coverage. Your partner and kids will all have coverage under a single policy, reducing complications and costs between individual plans. Benefits include:

  • Shorter waiting times
  • Faster diagnosis and treatment
  • Private hospital rooms
  • Broader access to medications and treatments

While those benefits make a convincing argument for a family health insurance plan, you’ll probably want to understand what’s in the coverage.

What Will Have Coverage in Family Health Insurance?

It’s important to remember that family health care plans will differ by provider. You’re always encouraged to check what cover your family will receive with your policy and discuss needs and concerns with your insurer.

However, distinct aspects of coverage are usually standard in a family health care policy. Those include:

  • Inpatient treatment – coverage for treatments requiring hospital stays
  • Outpatient treatment – coverage for consultations, treatments, and diagnosis not requiring hospital stays
  • Day patient care – coverage for one-day-only hospital stays.

Coverage will extend to almost all acute conditions. That means your family will get their private medical expenses paid for curable, short-term illnesses or injuries. However, it is also imperative to understand what family health insurance policies are not covered.

What’s Not Included in My Family Health Care Plan?

Generally, there are some conditions you can expect won’t have coverage in your family health insurance plan. These are:

  • Chronic conditions
  • Pregnancies and births
  • Cosmetic surgeries

You’ll find almost all pre-existing conditions excluded from your policy. However, some insurers can be flexible with the plans if you’re willing to pay a higher premium. If there’s anything not included you’d like coverage for, discuss these with your insurer.

So with coverage established, how does family health insurance work?

How Does Family Health Insurance Work?

After you’ve decided on a policy for your family health insurance, you’ll pay a monthly premium that covers all identified family members. The more comprehensive the insurance, the more expensive the cost, but more conditions and care will have coverage should it unexpectedly arise.

Some of the more comprehensive features include:

  • Private ambulances
  • Extra accommodation for a parent if a child stays overnight in a hospital
  • Nursing homes
  • Access to dedicated helpline specialists
  • Virtual consultations abroad

Including those in your plan would give more comfort, knowing that your family will have access to premier medical care. Again, the prices can increase with comprehensiveness.

How Should I Make a Family Health Insurance Claim?

Should anything happen to your partner or your children require care, you must process a claim for personal medical attention. Not every insurer will follow the same way to administer claims, but generally, policyholders will follow a simple procedure:

  • Raise your claim.

Get in touch with your insurer to initiate your claim on the necessary treatment for your family members in need.

  • Allow insurers to check your eligibility.

The insurers will receive your claim and investigate your eligibility for coverage against the policy terms.

  • The insurer will pay for treatments.

Your insurer will pay the private care provider directly once your family member’s eligibility has cleared.

We note that emergencies are usually not covered under family health care plans. However, conditions resulting from that emergency may be in the policy. Check with your insurer to understand what has coverage in these scenarios.

How Much Does Family Health Insurance Cost?

The cost of family health insurance plans can vary greatly depending on various factors. These include your postcode, ages, number of family members in the policy, and the extent of coverage.

There’s no set in stone number as insurers will vary their plans, too. These factors will see the cost increase, though:

  • Older ages
  • More family members (i.e., children) in the plan
  • Comprehensiveness of coverage
  • The region you live
  • Any add-ons to the policy (such as mental health treatments, dental, optical)

Cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor in your family’s health insurance plan and should base on their needs. As insurers face broad competition for family health policies, most offered coverage will be pretty reasonable.

However, there are ways to lower costs if these private health insurance policies aren’t within the confines of a budget.

Are There Ways to Lower the Cost?

Like all health insurance, there are ways to lower the costs of your monthly premiums. These will generally revolve around how fit and healthy your family has been – such as no pre-existing conditions, clean medical history, young age.

Other factors can come into consideration. These include:

  • Six weeks rule

If you agree with your insurer to use the NHS to receive treatments within 6-weeks of diagnosis, that will reduce monthly premiums.

  • Don’t add any extras to the plan.

Consider whether you or your family need any extras thrown into the plan, such as therapies and mental health treatments. If not, you’ll be able to minimize the costs.

  • Pay excess for treatments.

You can agree to pay a certain amount towards private medical care to reduce monthly insurance payments.

  • Pay your plan annually for a reduced cost.

Should you pay for your family health insurance plan annually rather than monthly, you’ll likely get a discounted rate.

  • Limit options for private care

Scoping your options in private medical care will almost certainly bring down the premiums.

  • Lead a healthier lifestyle

Those considered healthy don’t drink heavily and don’t will see their costs reduced.

  • Check if your work has a health insurance program.

If you have an employer with a company health scheme, check if their insurance programs add your family members.

Now that we know about coverage, claims, and costs, is there anything else you’ll need to consider before purchasing a plan?

What Do I Need To Think About in Purchasing a Plan?

Before seeking a private health insurance plan, there are some things you should strongly consider before purchasing. These will be crucial in deciding which policy is right for you and your family.

Considerations should include:

  • What treatments will you most likely need? – Consider what treatments your children will need in the future, such as dental or optical care.
  • What ages are your children? – Most family health insurance policies will have a maximum age limit (usually 18), where your children will no longer have coverage on your plan.
  • What kind of activities and sports does your family undertake? – Any strenuous activity could make your family more prone to injury.
  • What’s your family medical history? – Make sure you undertake a thorough review of your family’s health history, including your partner’s. Past conditions will affect what will and won’t have coverage with your policy.
  • Any hereditary conditions in your family? – Check if there have been any instances of hereditary conditions like cancer or heart disease, as you may want to be sure there’s coverage in your plan.
  • Are there any disabilities? – If there are any disabilities in your family, you’ll want to check coverage in the policy.
  • Do you travel abroad often? – If you take international holidays or travel abroad reasonably regularly, it’s worth considering additional travel insurance to ensure your family has protection wherever they go.

Make sure the policy tailors to all your family’s needs before settling on a plan.

The Unique Benefits of Family Health Insurance

You may feel that family health insurance is very similar to other medical policies in what’s covered and how you make a claim. Would you be getting a better value for your family altogether rather than individually?

Not only would it be more cost-effective to ensure your entire family is under one plan. But there may be some unique benefits that come with family health insurance, too. Those may include:

  • Some plans cover pregnancy complications – Pregnancies generally don’t have coverage in family health care plans. However, some will offer cover for any difficulties in birth or miscarriages.
  • New babies become part of the policy automatically. Plans will include your newborns from the day they arrive, giving you peace of mind that they have medical coverage from their first moments.
  • It’s easy to add more children to the plan – Adding more dependent children to the policy usually comes at little or no extra cost.
  • Available coverage from home nursing – Should you prefer treatment in the comfort of your own home, some plans will accommodate home nursing costs.
  • Options to extend coverage for children over 18 – More children remain dependent after they turn 18 in the modern-day, where they are in higher education or schooling. Many plans will give reasonable options to extended private health care coverage into their mid-20s.

These benefits are common additions to family insurance plans, but not all include them. Check with your insurer about the unique benefits incorporated into your family’s health care policy.

Am I Able to Add Non-Family Members to My Family Health Insurance Plan?

The short answer is no. The policyholder will only add dependents of their immediate family into their policy, but there are exceptions in some circumstances.

Suppose you are not married to your partner, for example. In that case, many insurers will make a different policy available to cover both of you while offering another children’s insurance plan to protect the little ones.

Another example would be dependent family members not living in the exact location, such as your children residing at their university. Different areas do not compromise your family health plan coverage, and you’ll still be able to make a claim should something occur.

Now that we’ve wrapped up everything you need to know about family health insurance let’s summarize the significant points.

Summary of Family Health Insurance

Find below the key points outlining the scope of family health insurance:

  • Family health insurance covers private medical care for yourself, your partner, and your children
  • Policies generally include inpatient, outpatient, and day visits for your family’s acute conditions
  • You’ll pay one monthly premium to cover all your family members
  • Prices can vary based on a variety of personal factors
  • Take your entire family’s medical history into consideration when finding the right plan
  • There are some unique benefits to family health insurance
  • Family health care plans are strictly for your dependants

As mentioned many times throughout the guide, ensure you hold discussions with your insurer or broker before purchasing a private health insurance plan. You’ll need to ensure it’s the right plan for your family.