Health Insurance for Seniors

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What is Senior Health Insurance?

  • Senior Health Insurance covers those in or approaching retirement, giving them private medical care paid for by an insurer
  • Choose where and when you receive treatment allowing you to bypass NHS waiting lists
  • Benefit from hospitals and facilities with superior amenities than would be available if you relied on the NHS, such as private ensuite rooms
  • Common conditions that older people suffer from, such as requiring a joint replacement or needing cancer treatment, can all be taken care of by Private Health Insurance

What Does Health Insurance For Seniors Cover?

  • Inpatient cover
    All Health Insurance covers inpatient treatment – that which requires a hospital bed overnight, such as surgery – as standard. It’s part of ‘core’ Health Insurance coverage.
  • Day-patient cover
    Day-patient treatment – where you need a hospital bed but not overnight, such as minor procedures – is also usually covered as standard.
  • Outpatient cover
    Outpatient cover – which requires no hospital bed, such as for diagnostic tests and scans – is a separate cover you will need to pay extra for. You can either opt to have it covered in full or up to a monetary limit each year.
  • Cancer cover
    Regardless of whether or not you have outpatient cover, most Health Insurance policies cover cancer treatment as standard, meaning you’ll receive cover for chemo / radiotherapy and cancer surgery. This includes drugs and procedures that may not yet be available on the NHS.
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Do I Need Senior Health Insurance?

According to AgeUK, 41% of the 18.7 million adults admitted to hospital in 2017 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.

Older people also stay in hospital longer – for an average of 9.1 days per admission compared to the average across all age groups of 5 days.

While a Health Insurance policy won’t necessarily meet all of your healthcare needs in retirement, such as admissions for chronic and / or pre-existing conditions, it can go a long way to helping in areas such as skipping queues for treatments like joint replacement surgeries.

This can significantly improve your quality of life if you’re suffering from a painful condition that there’s a long NHS waiting list for.

As we get older, we become more likely to suffer from various health conditions, many of which are treatable under the umbrella of a Private Health Insurance policy.

This can make Senior Health Insurance a wise investment for your retirement.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Can I Get Health Insurance for the Over-60s?

Yes, Health Insurance for the over-60s is available. However, it can be trickier the older you are. To ensure you are able to get the most suitable cover it is best to speak to an expert, please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880.

How Much Does Retiree Health Insurance Cost?

The price of your Health Insurance policy will be based on a range of factors:

  • Level of outpatient cover
    You can opt for full outpatient cover, where everything is paid in full; limited outpatient cover, where there’s a limit on outpatient care; or no outpatient cover, where you only have cover if you need inpatient treatment.
  • Optional add-ons
    Optional add-ons such as routine dental and optical cover or mental health cover will increase the price of your premiums. For cheaper cover, consider whether you really need such added extras.
  • Your postcode
    This determines the local private facilities you’re eligible for treatment in, so if you live in an area with more expensive hospitals then your cover will reflect this.
  • Your age
    The older we are, the more likely we become to make a claim on Health Insurance and therefore the higher the premium.
  • Smoker status
    Smokers are much more susceptible to illnesses such as cancer and cardiac problems than non-smokers and thus smokers pay higher premiums.
  • Your medical history and current state of health
    If you have a serious medical condition or a history of one, then you may pay more for cover.

Some factors that influence the cost of your policy are things that you are unable to control, like your age or your medical history.

Cutting the Cost of Senior Medical Insurance

There are a few ways in which you can adjust the cost of your policy to keep it affordable even as you get older.


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. Just like with car insurance, the more you agree to pay upfront, the lower your premiums will be.

6 week NHS wait

Another option to make a policy more cost effective is to add a 6 Week NHS wait.

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.

Hospital list

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.

A reduced hospital list limits the facilities 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 facility.

Example Costs of Senior Health Insurance

To calculate the monthly cost of Health Insurance for a person aged 55, 60 and 65, we’ve assumed:

  • All the individuals are in good health
  • They’re non-smokers
  • They’re looking for a mid-range policy with a mid-range hospital list
  • They’re willing to pay a £250 excess
  • They don’t want any additional extras on their policy
  • They’re based in the same postcode as our Brighton office.

Age 55

Age 60

Age 65

£122.42 per month

£151.04 per month

£187.37 per month

Premiums correct as of January 21st, 2019
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Common Senior Health Insurance Questions

  • Can I Get Private Health Insurance After 65?

    Yes, it is possible to take out Health Insurance after the age of 65. Not every provider will be willing to offer terms for Senior Health Insurance after this age, but there are plenty that will. Some even have insurance aimed specifically at the over-50s.

    Most insurers typically have a maximum age at which you can take out cover. For some this is 65; for others, however, it could be as high as 80.

    If you already have Health Insurance and you’re approaching your 65th birthday, there’s no need to panic. Most insurers will allow you to continue on paying for cover after your 65th birthday if you had cover before this date, as long as you keep paying premiums.

    Health Insurance for seniors is going to be more expensive than cover for younger people simply because at this age policyholders are more likely to claim.

    Common ailments treated in retirement include the need for joint replacements, for example, which form a sizeable proportion of claims after the age of 65 and can cost more than £10,000 per joint replaced.

  • How Much Does Health Insurance Cost for a 60-Year-Old?

    It is difficult to say how much Health Insurance will cost as it is specific to your home postcode, your current health and your cover requirements. For a very rough idea a Health Insurance policy for someone aged 60 could cost around £150 per month for a standard mid-range policy.

    There are many ways to reduce the cost of cover and secure cheaper premiums which you may want to consider as a senior looking for Health Insurance:

    The above prices are for mid-range policies, meaning they pay for inpatient cover and then limit outpatient cover to a set monetary amount of treatment per policy year. The next level down, a basic policy, only pays for the inpatient treatment you need, such as surgeries, and not any outpatient cover. You’d therefore need to have all diagnostic work undertaken by the NHS before using private inpatient facilities, but this could be a way to reduce the cost of your policy.

    The excess on the above policies is set to £250; many providers allow an excess up £1,000 per policy year, so if you have the capacity to fund the first £500 or £1,000 of your treatment yourself this may be an option for you to to reduce the cost of Health Insurance premiums.

    Another option might be to reduce the hospital list you’re entitled to have treatment in. Hospital lists arrange from private wards in NHS hospitals all the way up to pricy Central London hospitals and facilities, such as those on Harley Street. Opting for a lower tier of available hospitals could save you cash each policy year.

    The last major way to get cheaper Health Insurance is to consider implementing the 6 week NHS wait option on your policy. This means that if the treatment you’re entitled to is available on the NHS in your local area with a wait of less than 6 weeks, you’ll use the NHS for your treatment. It’s only if the treatment you need either isn’t available on the NHS or the wait is longer than 6 weeks that your Health Insurance policy kicks in.

    This strikes a good balance between having the option of fast treatment — in 6 weeks or less — but reducing the cost of the policy.

  • Is Health Insurance Worth It?

    NHS waiting lists are growing, and they’re only going to keep growing based on the trends of an ageing, sicker population unless there’s a drastic funding increase for the health service each year for the foreseeable future.

    Common treatments such as joint replacements, cardiac bypass surgery, cruciate ligament surgery, cancer care and other services provided by Private Health Insurance are all more likely to be required the older patients become. The waiting list for ‘routine’ surgeries on the NHS, such as joint replacements, can be weeks or even months.

    While treatment for cancer and cardiac issues is dealt with much faster under the NHS, you don’t get to choose your surgeon or the facility you receive your treatment in as you would under Private Health Insurance.

    Although Senior Health Insurance can be expensive compared to when you were younger, many people prefer to have it as a security blanket so that they know that, should something go wrong, they can have the treatment they need quickly in a comfortable, private setting.

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Compare Best 5 UK Health Insurance Providers



Aviva is the largest insurer in the UK. Aviva’s PMI offering is their Healthier Solutions product, which you can tailor to your own budget.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued Personal Medical Exclusions
  • Excess
    £100 / £200 / £500 / £1,000 / £3,000 / £5,000 per year
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    £0 / Reduced (limited to £500 or £1,000) / Full outpatient cover
  • Maximum Age
axa ppp

AXA PPP Healthcare

Based in Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare has helped people to access healthcare services since 1940.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
  • Excess
    £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000* / £2,500* / £5,000*
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy** / Optional mental health cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Standard or Full
  • Maximum Age
    75 for moratorium underwriting


Established over 60 years ago, Bupa is a UK household name. Bupa Health Insurance has two tiers of over: Comprehensive (full inpatient and outpatient care) and Treatment & Care (inpatient-only). Both options include mental health cover as standard.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium
  • Excess
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / radio/chemotherapy / Mental health cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000
  • Maximum Age
the exeter

The Exeter

Founded in 1927, Exeter Family Friendly is a mutual Friendly Society with over 60,000 members. The Exeter’s Health Insurance policy is known as The Exeter Health+, which includes mental health cover as standard.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Fixed moratorium / Rolling moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
  • Excess
    £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1000 / £3,000 / £5,000
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £1,000
  • Maximum Age


Vitality (formerly PruHealth) launched in October 2004 as a joint venture between Prudential and South African health insurance provider Discovery. Vitality has an innovative approach to health insurance in their Vitality plan, rewarding you with points and reduced premiums for healthy living.

  • Underwriting
    Full Medical Underwriting / Moratorium / Continued personal medical exclusions
  • Excess
    £0 / £100 / £250 / £500 / £1,000 once a year or once per claim
  • Core Cover
    Inpatient and day-patient / cancer cover
  • Outpatient Cover
    Paid in full or with optional limits of £500 / £750 / £1,000 / £1,250 / £1,500
  • Maximum Age
*Not available with standard outpatient option / **For those who've had cancer before taking out the plan or who removed the cover for cheaper PMI, AXA's NHS Cancer Support will see the patient treated for cancer on the NHS but with any drugs not routinely available on the NHS paid for by AXA

Get Senior Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

If you’re looking for Health Insurance for seniors, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

It can be a bit of a minefield trying to find the best cover, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or are looking to switch from another provider.

Why Speak to Us…

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are independent and impartial
    Drewberry isn’t tied to any insurance company, so we can provide completely impartial advice to make sure you get the most appropriate policy based solely on your needs.
  • We’ve got bargaining power on our side
    This allows us to negotiate better premiums for you than you going direct yourself.
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
    You will speak to a named expert with a direct telephone and email. No more automated machines and no more being sent from pillar to post – you’ll have someone to speak to who knows you.
  • Benefit from our 5-star service
    We pride ourselves on providing a 5-star service, as can be seen from our 2850 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5.
  • Get the protection of regulated advice
    You are protected. Where we provide a regulated advice service we are responsible for the policy we set-up for you. Doing it yourself or going direct to an insurer won’t provide this protection, so you won’t benefit from these securities.
  • Claims support when you need it the most
    You have support should you need to make a claim. The most important thing when it comes to insurance is that claims are paid and quickly. We are here to support you during the claims process and make sure it’s as smooth and stress free as possible.
Drew Nelson Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

If it is all getting a little confusing and you want to talk through your options to make sure you find the most suitable cover please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pop us a call on 02074425880 or email

Drew Nelson
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry

I had a great experience with Drewberry, they have a lot of knowledge and expertise with life insurance and income protection and were able to advise me and arrange suitable products. Highly recommend.

Lachlan Mellings
12/08/2020 Logo
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