Answered by Andrew Jenkinson
Thanks for your question, you are correct, adding an excess is a common way of reducing your health insurance premiums below are a number of other ways which can help you contain costs.
Level of Outpatient Cover
The vast majority of private medical insurance (PMI) products will provide cover for inpatient treatment in full i.e. where a stay in hospital is required. It is in the level of outpatient treatment that the premiums can differ significantly as claims are more frequent, outpatient treatment includes any scans, tests or specialist consultations where a stay in hospital is not required.
The three options tend to be no outpatient treatment, a level of outpatient treatment capped at a monetary limit i.e. £1,000 per policy year or covering outpatient treatment in full. Naturally the greater the level of outpatient cover provided the higher you monthly premiums.
Therapies – Often an additional option which can be selected which covers alternative treatments such as osteopathy and chiropody. Given the nature of these treatments claims can be quite common and including such cover can make up as much as 10% of your total premium.
Psychiatric Cover – An additional option which can often be included in a private medical insurance plan, the cost of treatment can be expensive and drawn out and thus can add another 5-10% to your monthly premiums.
Six Week Wait Option
The six week wait option was introduced into the PMI market to provide a more affordable option to individuals who were priced out of the market. With the six week wait option the policy holder agrees to receive treatment via the NHS should the waiting list for treatment of their condition be less than six weeks.
Should the NHS waiting list be more than six weeks the policy holder is eligible to receive treatment privately immediately. By opting for the six week wait option premiums can reduce by as much as a third.
Most insurers offer a standard hospital list which covers a wide range of hospitals throughout the UK, there are then options to either extend or reduce that hospital list depending on your requirements. Options to reduce the hospital list can often include a local hospital list limiting the hospitals in which treatment can be received or some insurers go as far as offering hospital lists which limit you to private wings of NHS hospitals.
With all of these options it is important to understand the cover provided by each and the cost of that particular benefit before making any decisions on altering cover to reduce your monthly premiums.
For further information please see our page Options to reduce health cover premiums – Low Cost Health Insurance
Frequently Asked Private Medical Insurance Questions
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