Over 50s Health Insurance provides access to private healthcare for those at or near retirement.
It is possible to get cover if you’re in this age bracket; however, many people resist purchasing a policy because they suspect that it will be too expensive due to their age.
While it’s true that any insurance policy becomes more expensive as we get older, there are a few ways in which your cover can be adjusted to make policies more affordable.
In this guide to PMI for people aged 50+, we will show you what kinds of cover are available and how to find the right Medical Insurance policy for you.
While there are some challenges to finding a policy after you reach a certain age, it is very possible. The trick to finding an affordable policy is choosing the right options and putting in the work to find out what’s available.
In general, Health Insurance is used to cover the treatment of acute conditions, which are illnesses that can be reversed with treatment.
Chronic conditions, on the other hand, require long-term management but can’t be cured. These are rarely ever covered by Private Health Insurance policies.
Acute vs Chronic Conditions
Joint replacement surgery
High blood pressure
There are a range of options to choose from that can adjust the cover of over 50s Health Insurance. These will all have an impact on the cost of Medical Insurance, which means that you will need to think carefully about which ones you need.
One of the most important decisions you will have to make when you start looking at policies is deciding the types of treatments that you want to be covered for.
There are three different types of care that you can be covered for:
Basic PMI policies cover inpatient and usually day-patient care as standard – this is usually known as ‘core’ cover.
As such, over 50s Health Insurance policies will almost always cover serious procedures such as operations, providing they’re for an acute condition and aren’t excluded in your policy’s terms.
Most outpatient treatments, however, are rarely covered automatically – cover for these treatments is typically provided as an optional extra which you’ll need to pay more for.
Outpatient cover typically includes diagnostic consultations, tests, scan, procedures and therapies. If you choose not to add outpatient cover to your Medical Insurance, then you’ll need to use the NHS for such treatment, potentially delaying your care.
You have a few different options to choose from to receive the medical care you may need after retirement. However, not all of these options will be accessible for everyone.
The most obvious alternative to private healthcare would be the NHS, which has the benefit of being free at the point of use.
However, in recent years it has been put under a lot of pressure and because of this there are some instances where the NHS might fall short of providing your desired level of care.
One of the biggest issues with using the NHS’s services is the waiting times for treatments. In March 2018, 2,755 of the 3.84 million patients waiting to start treatment had been waiting more than 52 weeks.
The NHS is also there to pick up on any healthcare needs that aren’t met by Private Medical Insurance, such as management of chronic conditions and GP and emergency care.
If you want private medical treatments but don’t want to pay for insurance, you do have the option to pay for your treatments using your savings.
However, due to our increased susceptibility to illnesses and injuries as we get older, it is very possible that funding your own treatment will be far more expensive than a PMI policy.
Ultimately, one of the biggest issues with self-funded private treatment is affordability. Not everyone is capable of paying out of their own pocket for private treatments.
If you received Health Insurance from your last place of work in the form of a Group Health Insurance policy, there is a possibility that you will be able to carry your cover over into your retirement on an individual basis.
A lot of the benefits and drawbacks of carrying on a Group Health policy are dependent on your insurer and your employer.
As the terms of your cover are up to them, you can’t know for sure whether you will be covered or if the cover you get would be worth the cost after you retire.
Essentially, the cost of keeping a group health insurance policy after retirement is something that you can’t always rely on.
Not everyone’s situation will be the same and some insurers may hike up the cost of your cover after retirement to reflect the fact that you’re no longer part of a group and are underwritten on an individual basis.
A Personal Health Insurance policy is the most common option to cover the cost of private healthcare. There are a variety of options available that allow you to match your policy to your needs and your budget.
Yet getting a personal policy in retirement can be tricky, taking a considerable amount of work to find and maintain.
Not only will you need to look thoroughly for a good value policy, but you will also need to review it regularly to ensure that you have the best policy for the price you’re paying.
When it comes to finding and maintaining Medical Insurance after retirement, it really pays off to have an expert on your side.
We can help you find the right policy as well as help you look around for potential alternative policies each year to make sure you’re still getting the best deal.
If you need help don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry
While these policies might not be overly common, it is possible to find Private Health Insurance over 65.
However, it can be difficult and comes with a fair number of challenges which may require the expertise of an adviser to tackle.
The cost of Health Insurance for people over 65 years old is the first challenge that you’ll face when looking for a policy.
As you get older you’re more likely to claim on your insurance compared to a younger person, so providers tend to make up for the extra risk by increasing the cost of a policy.
The older you are when you apply for your policy, the more expensive your starting premiums are likely to be.
If you are already facing some of the medical issues associated with age, there is a chance that your policy will have reduced cover.
This is because, depending on your underwriting, your insurer may exclude some of the health issues that you may have experienced in the years prior to taking out your policy. These are known as ‘pre-existing conditions’.
Most insurers will have an age limit for which people can apply for a policy. Some providers set this limit as low as 65, but there are some insurance providers that don’t have any age limit at all.
These challenges can make it difficult to find cover if you’re over 65, but an experienced insurance adviser will know how to tackle these challenges and find a policy to suit your needs, taking care of all the legwork for you.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
Your Health Insurance policy is going to be priced based on a range of factors:
Some factors that influence the cost of your policy are things that you are unable to control, like your age or your medical history. However, there are a few ways in which you can adjust the cost of your policy to keep it affordable even as you get older.
Ultimately, you can reduce the cost of your policy by limiting your insurance so that it covers only the necessities.
Stripping your policy of non-core cover options, like outpatient benefits or routine dental/optical cover, are the first things you can do to bring down the cost of your policy.
One of the best options to reduce the cost of cover when you apply for your policy is the excess.
An excess is an amount that you agree to contribute per year or per claim. The more you agree to pay upfront, the lower your premiums will be.
Another option to make a policy more cost effective is to add a 6 Week Deferment.
With this option, you would only be able to make a claim if the wait time for your treatment on the NHS is longer than 6 weeks.
When you add this option, the cost of your policy can be brought down considerably and you stand a better chance of protecting your no-claims bonus if your policy has one.
Keeping your no-claims discount intact could mean a far gentler increase in your premiums the following year.
Some insurers give you a range of options to choose from in terms of the facilities and hospitals where you can receive your treatments.
To lower the cost of your policy you can choose a reduced hospital list. This limits the hospitals you can visit to a certain area or means that you receive your treatment in a private ward in an NHS hospital rather than visiting an entirely private hospital.
For many of us, our later years are punctuated by periods of ill health, which is why post-retirement may be the time when a Health Insurance policy is most relevant to your needs.
According to AgeUK, out of the 18.7 million adults admitted to hospital in 2017, 7.6 million (41%) were aged 65 and over.
The number of older people requiring inpatient care has also risen considerably over the past few years, with 16.2 million older individuals admitted to hospital between 2015 and 2016. They are also staying an average of 9.1 days per admission while the average across all age groups is 5 days.
While a Health Insurance policy won’t necessarily meet all of your healthcare needs in retirement, such as admissions for chronic, pre-existing conditions or emergency conditions, it can go a long way to helping in areas such as skipping queues for treatments such as joint replacement surgeries.
Although it can get a little harder to find the most suitable Private Medical Insurance the older we get having an expert on hand to continual review the market can pay real dividends.
We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.
We are here to offer impartial and, most importantly, fee-free Health Insurance advice.
If you want to talk through your options to make sure you are looking at the most suitable cover then don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333.
Director at Drewberry
Very professional, kept me informed at every stage, easy to communicate with, no stress!