How Much Does Over 50s Medical Insurance Cost?
The cost of the monthly premiums can vary considerably based on both personal factors as well as the options you choose for your coverage. The biggest factors include:
- Level of cover
- Policy additions
- Smoker status
- Medical history and current state of health.
To provide a rough estimate of cost we have calculated the monthly prices for adults aged 50+ based on the most competitive quote from across the market for individuals who are:
- In good health
- Looking for a comprehensive plan
- Willing to pay a £250 excess
- Underwritten on a moratorium basis
- Based in the same postcode as our Brighton office.
Can I Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance?
Yes, if you’re concerned about the price of premiums you have a number of options available to cut the price of cover.
Limiting / Removing Outpatient Cover
As mentioned, outpatient care is an optional extra for an additional premium. To save money, you can opt for no outpatient cover at all, in which case you’d be 100% reliant on the NHS for such treatment and procedures.
Alternatively, you can choose limited outpatient cover. Known as a mid-range plan, this places a cap on the monetary amount of outpatient cover you’re entitled to per policy year, typically at £1,000.
Add an Excess to Your Policy
One of the best options to reduce the cost of cover is to add an excess. This is an amount that you agree to contribute upfront to your private care.
Excesses typically begin at £100 and can go all the way up to £5,000 depending on the insurer and the type of care you require.
The more you agree to pay upfront, the lower your premiums will be.
Include the 6 Week NHS Wait
Another option to make premiums more cost effective is to add the 6 week NHS wait to your policy.
Here, when you need inpatient care, your insurer firstly looks at the local NHS waiting list for the procedure you need. If the NHS waiting list for that treatment is longer than 6 weeks, or it isn’t available at all, then you have the procedure privately.
If the waiting list is shorter than 6 weeks, you have treatment under the NHS.
Reduced Hospital list
The cost of private treatment varies around the UK. The most expensive facilities are those in Central London. If you want to use such hospitals and clinics, your premiums will be more expensive. You can opt to exclude pricier facilities to save money on premiums.
Also, some insurers give you various tiers to choose from in terms of the facilities and hospitals which provide your care.
To cut the cost of your policy you can choose a reduced hospital list. This limits the hospitals you can visit, typically to treatment in private wards in NHS hospitals rather than using an entirely private facility.
Your Medical Underwriting Options
The underwriting you choose will impact your policy’s coverage. It will also govern whether the plan provides care for certain pre-existing conditions, which are illnesses you had before the policy began.
There are two underwriting options available:
Moratorium Underwriting (MORI)
Under moratorium underwriting, your insurer excludes any condition for which you’ve had treatment in the past 5 years.
However, most insurers offer a ‘rolling moratorium’. This means you may be able to get the excluded condition covered if you serve 2 years on the plan without having any advice, medication or treatment for that condition.
The re-inclusion of any condition is subject to the insurer’s discretion, but it may mean that your plan covers pre-existing conditions after a set period.
Full Medical Underwriting (FMU)
Here you’re required to disclose past medical conditions upfront when you apply for cover. It’s at this point the insurer decides whether it will offer cover for those conditions.
Given you have to make a full declaration of your medical history, this is time consuming and can involve a lot of paperwork.
Moratorium or Full Medical Underwriting?
This all comes down to the nature of your medical history.
Full medical underwriting typically excludes any serious conditions that you have experienced in the past (even if it was over 5 years ago). With a moratorium this would not likely be the case if you last had symptoms more than 5 years ago.
On the other hand, with the moratorium method, a consultation that may not have actually amounted to anything could potentially exclude a whole area of the body if it was within the last 5 years.
Who Are The Best UK Health Insurance Providers?
When considering your health insurance options there are five major providers in the UK market. Each offering a range of policy options and premiums to suit your needs.
It is important to recognise each insurer has their own underwriting philosophy. Given age, location and medical history all have a significant impact on the cost it is vital you obtain quotes from all of the leading UK insurers when doing your research.
Make Sure Your Regularly Review Existing Cover
If you have an existing private medical insurance policy it is important to research the market every couple of years to ensure your policy is still competitive.
We too often speak to individuals who have held their cover with the same insurer for many years only to find out there are significant savings to be made.