Our latest Anderson Health blog post will cover all you need to know about health insurance premiums, what they are, how they work and what could affect yours. Here we share advice and guidance from our years of expertise to explain everything that you need to consider.
What is an insurance premium?
Insurance premiums are the amount of money you pay for taking out any insurance policy; these payments can be made by an individual or a business. The premium you pay is generally consistent for most types of insurance, so a monthly amount, for example. However, you can pay annually for many different types of insurance policies. The insurance premium amount depends on various factors, such as the type of cover taken out and the level of risk associated with the policy for the insurance company.
How are health insurance premiums calculated?
Insurance companies consider a range of different factors to calculate the cost of your private medical insurance and the premium that you will pay. The most common factors for health insurance policies in determining price are: the type of cover you require, your age, your location and in future years, your claims experience. Generally speaking, the cost of private medical insurance will be higher for older people. Those with pre-existing conditions may find it difficult to obtain cover without medical exclusions being applied.
Taking out a health insurance policy with pre-existing medical conditions
In most cases it is not possible for individual customers to obtain cover for pre-existing medical conditions. The exception to the rule is the more expensive international providers, some of whom will consider covering certain pre-existing medical conditions by loading the premium. This would be evaluated by the underwriters on application, on a case-by-case basis. These types of policies are designed generally but not exclusively for the ex-pat customer. However more and more British nationals living and working in the UK are taking out these types of policies because of the more flexible underwriting terms and more comprehensive benefits.
You can of course still take out a health insurance policy if you have pre-existing medical conditions, as the policy will cover you for any treatment, illness or injury that occurs after the new policy start date.
Businesses wishing to take out new health insurance policies have more choice. For example, with Medical History Disregarded (MHD) terms, no medical questions are asked, and employees are not subject to new moratorium underwriting. In essence, this means that any eligible pre-existing medical condition can be claimed for straight away, subject to authorisation and the insurer’s policy wording.
What pre-existing medical conditions can impact my health insurance premium?
Pre-existing medical conditions that make health insurance premiums more expensive vary depending on the type of policy and the provider concerned. However, some common pre-existing conditions that may result in higher premiums include:
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (generally excluded)
- Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder
- Respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and back pain
- Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
- Obesity and related conditions, such as sleep apnoea
- Substance abuse and addiction
How should I take out a health insurance policy?
When taking out any insurance policy, shopping around and comparing different options is essential to find the most suitable policy. Your health insurance policy needs to be able to meet your own specific needs as well as your budget.
It’s also important to remember that even though you may have a pre-existing condition, it doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily be able to find a suitable and affordable health insurance plan. It is always best to consult an insurance broker to ensure you choose the best policy.
Will using an insurance broker help my health insurance premiums be lower?
Using an insurance broker, such as Anderson Health, can help you to find a health insurance policy with a lower premium. This is because brokers have established relationships with the providers and access to a wide range of different insurance policies. At Anderson Health we can help you compare the options using our years of expertise in this industry to provide guidance based on your own specific circumstances. Insurance brokers are experts in the field with the knowledge and experience to help you understand the different types of plans available and how they may impact your premium. We can help you understand policy wording and the various options, for example what is covered and what is not covered. Anderson Health can also help you with the claims process and any issues that may arise when claiming on your health insurance policy – for this we offer our free claims resolution service.
As health insurance brokers, we are typically paid a commission by the insurance companies, so the services we offer are usually free for our clients. In conclusion, using an insurance broker can help you find the right private medical insurance coverage with lower premiums that best fits your needs and budget. It is always best to consult with an insurance broker to ensure that you choose the best plan that is most suitable for you.