Joint Health Insurance for Couples

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Joint Health Insurance for couples covers partners under a single policy. It will cover the cost of private healthcare for eligible conditions. This has a number of advantages over the NHS, not least far lower waiting times. You therefore get the care you need exactly when you need it the most.

Couples Health Insurance is essentially no different from having two individual plans. However, as it covers you both under one policy, it halves administration compared with two separate schemes. You get cover for two people under a single policy with just one policy number, one monthly premium and one renewal date.

Furthermore, once you have Joint Health Insurance, if you start a family it’s very easy to add children to policies from birth and create a Family Health Insurance plan.

You don’t have to be married or in a civil partnership with the person you share your Joint Health Insurance policy with. Many of our clients have joint policies with their cohabiting partner, for example.

What Do Joint Private Medical Insurance Policies Cover?

Health Insurance has many options that you can add or remove to customise your cover. This impacts how comprehensive your coverage is, the conditions and treatments the plan covers, and the premiums you’ll pay.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

At its most basic, medical care divides into:

  • Inpatient and day-patient treatment
    All medical treatment requiring a stay in a hospital bed. This is either overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient). Inpatient and day-patient care most commonly involves surgery. All Health Insurance covers it as standard.
  • Outpatient treatment
    Any care not needing a hospital bed, such as diagnostic tests / scans or physiotherapy. Private Medical Insurance won’t cover outpatient treatment as standard — it’s an optional extra you can add to the plan for an additional premium.

No Outpatient Cover

Policies without any outpatient cover are known as Low Cost Health Insurance. It only pays for inpatient treatment and is the cheapest Health Insurance available.

You don’t have to add outpatient cover to your policy. Yet while this saves money, it does mean you’ll use the NHS for all outpatient care. Given NHS waiting times for such appointments, this could delay private inpatient treatment.

Private Health Insurance No Outpatient Process

With Outpatient Cover

Adding outpatient cover to policies increases premiums, but it’s a more comprehensive option. It speeds up your overall care pathway and means both your diagnosis and treatment are entirely private.

Private Medical Insurance Outpatient Process

Chronic vs Acute Conditions

The difference between chronic and acute conditions is important for Private Medical Insurance.

Briefly, chronic conditions stick with you for the rest of your life. Doctors cannot cure them, for example asthma and diabetes, only manage them. On the other hand, acute conditions pass with time and medical attention. They include cataracts requiring removal or joint pain fixable with a joint replacement.

No UK Health Insurance policies cover chronic conditions. They treat acute conditions only. Even with Private Health Insurance, the NHS will provide all ongoing management of chronic conditions.

Cancer Cover

This is perhaps the most valuable element of any Private Medical Insurance plan. Many of our clients take out a policy just for the cancer cover alone. This is because private cancer care can pay for cutting-edge drugs, treatments, therapies and procedures not yet licensed for the NHS due to cost.

Most policies cover cancer care as standard. This includes:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Biological / hormone therapies
  • Cancer surgery / reconstruction.

Depending on your provider and level of cover, you may also have access to other elements of cancer cover. These might include:

  • The option to have chemotherapy at home rather than in hospital
  • Cash towards wigs / prosthetics you require as a result of cancer treatment / surgery
  • Money towards scalp cooling to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy
  • Donations to a hospice should you require palliative care
  • Access to a set number of days of home nursing, where a private nurse visits you at home during your care to check in with you.

Virtual GP Appointments

Every major Health Insurance provider now offers virtual GP appointments. Insurers introduced them to combat growing waiting times for NHS GP appointments and the difficulties involved in fitting them into working life.

You get access to telephone or video calls with a UK-registered GP. Appointments are usually available 24 / 7, meaning you can have one anytime and anywhere.

Digital GPs can do everything your NHS GP can. This includes providing medical advice, issuing prescriptions and making onward referrals for private medical care under your policy.

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Do We Need Couples Health Insurance?

The main reason our clients choose Joint Medical Insurance is because it cuts administration and hassle. You benefit from one set of policy documents and one renewal date. This means you only need to do a market comparison once instead of twice a year if you want to check you’re still getting the best deal at renewal.

As for Private Health Insurance in general, the biggest concern for our clients seems to be worries about NHS waiting lists. While the NHS does a fantastic job and is quite rightly a much-loved national institution, the health service is unfortunately under strain from external forces.

It’s facing a budget squeeze and rising demand for healthcare, which means waiting times are up. For instance, at the end of July 2020, NHS England had 4.05 million patients on its waiting lists. 2.15 million such patients — more than half — had been awaiting treatment for more than 18 weeks. 83,203 had been waiting more than a year.

Joint Health Insurance speeds up access to care, getting you the care you need for eligible conditions exactly when you need it.

How Much Does Joint Health Insurance Cost?

With Joint Health Insurance, there are a variety of policy options to choose from. This can make your cover more or less comprehensive and also alter premiums.

Overall, the cost for joint health cover is fairly linear. That means, all things being equal, the price of a policy for a couple should be around double that of a policy for one person.

This assumes all the policy metrics are the same, e.g. both partners are non-smokers, the same age and have similar medical histories.

Personal factors which impact the cost of cover include:

  • Age
    As we get older, health problems become more likely. This is reflected in higher premiums for older adults.
  • Address
    The cost of private medical care varies throughout the UK. London has particularly expensive hospitals, for example. If you live in an area where private treatment is more expensive for the insurer, your premiums reflect this.
  • Medical history and state of health
    Depending on your circumstances, your premiums may be higher if you have a serious medical condition or a history of one.
  • Smoker status
    Given smoking causes an array of health issues, including very serious ones such as cancer and cardiac conditions, smokers face higher premiums.

Example Premiums for a Joint Health Insurance Policy

To come up with the below Joint Health Insurance premiums for three different couples, we’ve assumed that they:

  • Are in good health
  • Share a birthday
  • Are non-smokers
  • Want a comprehensive policy
  • Are willing to pay a £250 excess
  • Will be underwritten on a moratorium basis
  • Aren’t looking for any additional extras on their policy
  • Are based in the same postcode as our Brighton office.

35 Year Old Couple

45 Year Old Couple

55 Year Old Couple

£125.12

£157.02

£219.96

Can I Get Cheaper Joint Health Insurance?

Yes, it’s possible to reduce the cost of Joint Health Insurance. As mentioned, there are numerous policy options to consider which can help drive premiums down.

ADVISER TIP
Most methods of cutting premiums limit how comprehensive your policy is. With this in mind, we therefore feel it’s important to discuss your options with an expert. They’ll help you find the right balance between affordability and coverage.

Adjust Your Excess

One way to reduce premiums without compromising on coverage is to increase your excess.

Your excess is the amount of money you agree to pay upfront for your medical care before the insurance kicks in to foot the rest of the bill. The bigger your excess, the lower your premiums.

Typically, the cheapest excess is £100. However, excesses can be as high as £5,000 depending on your provider and the type of medical care you need.

While a bigger excess lowers premiums, you should always make sure you can afford to pay your excess if you need to claim.

Limit Outpatient Cover

Adding outpatient cover increases premiums. You can remove it entirely and opt for Low Cost Health Insurance, but this means you’ll have to use the NHS for all outpatient care. This could delay private inpatient treatment.

Given this, we therefore tend to recommend Health Insurance policies with at least some level of outpatient cover.

As a middle ground between fully comprehensive Health Insurance and a low cost policy without outpatient cover, you could choose a mid-range plan. Here, the insurer limits the amount of outpatient medical care it pays for per policy year. The limit is usually around £1,000.

A mid-range joint private health policy will be cheaper than comprehensive cover but still offer some level of outpatient care.

Restrict Your Hospital List

Every Private Health Insurance provider has tiers of facilities you can be treated in. The top tier contains the best private hospitals in the country, including those in Central London. Opting for care in these facilities will increase premiums.

To lower costs, you could consider a more limited hospital list. This offers care in private facilities in your local area or in private wings of NHS hospitals.

Choose the 6 Week NHS Wait

If you add the 6 week NHS wait, your insurer looks at local NHS waiting times for any inpatient care you need. If the NHS can provide it in less than 6 weeks, then your care continues under the NHS.

It’s only if the NHS waiting list is longer than 6 weeks or the NHS doesn’t pay for the procedure you need that your Health Insurance kicks in.

Review the Market Regularly

Lastly, once you have Joint Private Health Insurance, it’s important to keep on top of premiums. Health Insurance policies renew each year, so you may find premiums creep up over time.

If that’s the case, review the market to ensure you’re still getting the best deal. This is something your adviser will be more than happy to help with, comparing Health Insurance quotes from the entire market on your behalf.

If it turns out you can get cheaper premiums with another provider, you can switch to that insurer. However, switching Health Insurance is something best left to experts. It needs to be done carefully, on continued personal medical exclusions (CPME) terms.

This ensures not only that you get continuity of cover but that your new insurer shouldn’t add any new exclusions to your policy that don’t exist on your current plan.

Compare Top 5 UK Private Health Insurance Providers

You have five major UK Health Insurance providers to choose from:

There are also some smaller, specialist providers that may better suit your needs. At Drewberry, we have access to the entire market. We compare Health Insurance quotes from every single insurer in the UK so you can be sure you’re getting the best cover for the best price.

Get Joint Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

With so much to consider when buying Health Insurance, getting the best cover in place can be a bit of a minefield. So why not ask an expert for advice?

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are an award winning 🏆 independent insurance broker who works with all the leading UK insurers
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
  • We are very proud of the 3150 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5
  • Claims support when you need it most.
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can find us on the financial services register here 🧐
  • Claims support when you need it most.

For help and fee-free advice, call us 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Very helpful from start to finish. Talked through all the points and gave great advice.

Darren Comer
16/05/2021
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