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Getting older is a natural part of life. But as we age, our concerns around health care increase. You may consider purchasing over 50s health insurance to protect against any waiting times or costly procedures. However, you may not understand the scope of what the policies cover.
This guide will answer all your questions about over 50s health insurance.
Over 50s health insurance, as described in its name, is a private medical insurance plan for persons over the age of 50. Many people would ask why this age is a significant benchmark in insurance policies and how it differs from other health insurance policies.
Older people in the UK require hospitalization more than ever. As over 50s head towards retirement, insurers categorize this age as elderly and more prone to needing medical treatment.
Private health insurance is more relevant to the increased needs of over 50s, meaning that insurers have adopted a different plan to cater to their medical care requirements. Factors such as more extended stays in the hospital, more frequent injuries and illnesses, and greater need for outpatient treatment factor into the policies.
The coverage offered in over 50s health insurance will align with more frequent medical occurrences. But what exactly gets covered in these private medical plans?
We compare plans from the leading health insurance providers
Like standard private medical insurance plans, over 50s health insurance will cover most acute conditions. That means you’ll get access to personal care for illness, injuries, and diseases that have a root cause and are treatable.
The extent of coverage varies by insurer and what the policyholder wants covering. However, generally, over 50s health insurance plans will include the following categories.
Inpatient care will cover all conditions and treatments requiring a hospital bed. Even if you need to stay overnight, the over 50s health insurance will cover the expenses of your stay.
Outpatient procedures are treatments and consultations that don’t require hospital beds—these range from diagnostic tests, x-rays, or CT scans.
This type of coverage is expected in policies for over 50s, but not standard plans. It will cover the cost of cancer treatments, giving policyholders access to leading-edge medicines not usually available on the NHS.
The policy will ensure that you can see a private GP within 24 hours of making a claim.
As outlined, the range of coverage for over 50s health insurance can be pretty extensive should prospective policyholders choose. If you aren’t opposed to paying high premiums, you have the options of coverage add-ons, too, such as:
However, such comprehensive coverage can rack up quite a cost. And won’t cover chronic conditions or emergencies. Many over the 50s ponder whether a private medical plan is worth the price considering the NHS will provide most treatments for free.
What’s the reasoning behind purchasing over 50s health insurance cover?
One of the core arguments behind getting a private over 50s health insurance policy is the increased risk of illness or injury. 41% of over 50s in the UK in 2017 had to seek consultation or treatment at hospitals.
That statistic alone outlines that public health facilities for over 50s would have an extensive waiting list. The NHS may not be able to see to your condition within what’s considered a reasonable timeframe.
Having a private health plan would ensure that you get a consultation quickly. There won’t be any waiting times, and you’ll have access to more comfortable facilities, specialists, and treatments not always available on the NHS.
We’ll elaborate more on the advantages of over 50s private health insurance cover.
Discover below the benefits of purchasing an over 50s health insurance plan.
Easier to Obtain a Policy
Getting accepted into a policy isn’t as challenging as others with a poor medical history or pre-existing conditions. Most insurers won’t make you fill out medical forms or undergo examinations. Regardless of your circumstances, you’ll likely get accepted to an over 50s health insurance plan.
Jump the Queue
Waiting times are a significant benefit in purchasing an over 50s private health insurance policy. When we get older, we aren’t as included to wait for the 18-week average on the NHS to get treatment. You’ll get access to consultations and treatments much quicker than public health facilities.
Receive Top Quality Treatment
Over 50s would prefer better care in their age, and a private health insurance plan will deliver. Insurance policies will cover specialists and treatments that would not usually be on the NHS. Top-quality care would ensure effective and more efficient recoveries.
Choice of Facilities
You’ll have access to the best in the business with an over 50s private health insurance plan. The policies allow you a choice of consultants and facilities, so you can pick what’s best for you.
Private Hospital Stays
Should you suffer a condition that requires a stay in the hospital, you’ll have a private room to recover. Your medical procedures and treatments will be much more comfortable than others, with more allowance for your friends and family to visit you.
Access to a Wider Range of Treatments
Mental health support, physiotherapies, and elective surgeries are just some things that the NHS won’t cover. Over 50s insurance plans make that coverage available if wanted.
Do note that the extent of coverage in your private health insurance policy may not cover all these benefits. While you may not require everything listed, there are certain factors you’d want to establish to get the most tailored over 50s health insurance.
It’s vital to consider your precise needs to get the coverage you want in your over 50s health insurance plan. Think about what illnesses and injuries may seem more likely to occur before choosing a policy.
There are also some other factors that you should look for in your plan as they are more relevant to over 50s.
Older people in the over 50s category may prefer a more comfortable, dedicated environment to facilitate treatments, diagnostics, or recovery. Review the extent of access to private hospitals and specialists in your over 50s health insurance plan. Make sure ones that are convenient in a location are listed.
What’s not covered is just as important as having coverage in your over 50s health insurance plan. It’s crucial to review your circumstances and get the level of cover that will match any private medical care you think you may need.
Private medical insurance shouldn’t have any delays when processing claims. The policies should render the care you need as fast as possible. Make sure you select the relevant underwriting, either moratorium or full medical, to get your claims processed quicker.
There aren’t any fixed costs for over 50s health insurance, as premiums stem from many different prerequisites. However, depending on your circumstances, there are ways to define if your monthly payments will be higher or lower.
The core factors that determine your monthly premiums are below:
Many will ask if there is any way to lower the cost of monthly premiums. Why pay higher prices if they are in good health and don’t feel at immediate risk of illness or injury? There certainly are ways to lower private medical insurance costs for over 50s.
Explore the factors below that can help lower your monthly premiums.
Limiting or Not Having Outpatient Cover
Suppose you’d like to take a significant amount off your monthly premium. In that case, you can opt not to have outpatient cover in your policy. However, many would find concern with removing it entirely. Therefore, you can limit the amount of eligible outpatient cover, where the insurer will put a yearly cap of around £1000.
Adding excesses is one of the preferred options for lowering premiums. Suppose you’re willing to cover some of the costs of treatments and consultations from your pocket. In that case, the monthly policy cost will be lower. The more you’re willing to pay upfront, the more savings you’ll see on your over 50s plan.
The 6-Week NHS Rule
The 6-Week NHS Rule refers to whether an NHS facility can see your inpatient procedure within six weeks. If so, you’ll get your treatment done there. If they can’t see you within that timeframe or the treatment is unavailable, you’ll have it done privately.
Agreeing to these terms will lower the cost of your medical insurance.
Limiting Your Hospital List
You can cut the cost of your premiums by limiting the number of private facilities from where you can get treatment. If you exclude some of the more expensive ones, you’ll save on monthly costs.
Shopping around for the over 50s private health insurance, and you still may have a few questions about coverage and whether the policies are right for you. We answer some more of the most frequently asked questions about the plans.
Generally, your chronic and pre-existing conditions won’t have coverage in your plan. The over 50s policies cover acute conditions after you join the policy.
However, some insurers may offer flexibility with pre-existing conditions and include them at a higher premium. Discuss these with your prospective insurers if you are concerned about chronic illness coverage.
If you seriously consider purchasing over 50s health insurance, it’s crucial to consult with an expert before weighing up your options. Their advice can help you find the right plan and outline how the policy works moving forward.
There are joint policies you can initiate with your significant other. In some cases, you can save on over 50s health insurance plans for you and your partner. Discuss this prospect with your broker or insurer.
Yes, your rights to use the NHS remain unchanged. If you prefer to use the service for any treatments, you may do so without affecting your policy.
Should you need to claim treatment, you’ll follow a quick, 3-step process.
Suppose you find yourself needing private medical care. In that case, all you need to do is initiate a claim by contacting your insurer. You’ll inform them with details about your condition and submit your claim.
The insurer will look at your claim against the terms of your policy to ensure you are eligible for coverage.
Should everything match up, your insurer will pay your health care provider directly.
Let’s review the most significant, noteworthy points of this over 50s health insurance guide:
Should you have any more queries, concerns, or questions about over 50s health insurance, make sure you discuss them with your broker or insurer. Otherwise, there are many health insurance options to choose from that will give over 50s peace of mind of coverage for their private medical expenses.