Sunday, 16 October 2011
Health Insurance Tips
The cost of health care has increased substantially over the past decade, so it should be no surprise that the cost of private medical insurance has followed suit. With premiums up from around annually to 18 according to Data Monitor, it is becoming harder for many people to afford private medical insurance at all. There are ways to cut costs and still get quality cover and quality medical care, though. Here are a few suggestions for getting quality health insurance for you and your family on a budget. Downgrade from comprehensive cover If you’ve been paying for comprehensive PMI, you may reduce your costs by downgrading to a budget plan. There are a number of budget plan types available. One of the most common methods of reducing costs on PMI is to exclude cover for some types of treatments. Those treatments may include tests, complementary health care, and psychiatric care. Exclusions are one way to cut costs t if you end up needing tests, scans, or physical therapy, or any other type of treatment not covered, you could wind up paying far more out of your pocket than you would have paid for the extra cover. Agree to a higher excess Another popular way to lower premiums is to opt for a higher excess. You can lower your premiums by well over 50% if you choose to accept a high excess. If you do choose to take on a higher excess payment, be sure to check how the excess is charged. A per claim excess can wind up being far more expensive than a full cover excess. Share the responsibility A third way to cut the cost of your premiums is to share the cost of your medical expenses with your insurance provider. Rather than paying a fixed excess cost, you agree to pay a percentage of your treatment cost up to a predetermined cap. Pay for your own treatment A new class of payment type for private health care costs is to pay for your own expenses without insurance. There are private hospitals that offer fixed rate operations to allow you to shop around and budget for an operation rather than wait for your turn on the NHS. Private treatment at NHS facilities If you opt to pay your own medical expenses, one option to look into is using private facilities at NHS hospitals. The cost may be cheaper than the same treatment at a private hospital. Employer based PMI Check to find out if your employer offers PMI as a company benefit. Group rates for private health insurance are considerably cheaper than individual, so even if your employer requires you to make a contribution, it’s likely to save you a good amount of money on your health insurance policy. Depending on the policy and the company, you may also be able to get cover for your spouse and children. In some of the larger companies, you may even be able to get cover if you have a pre-existing condition. Shop around for the best deal Comparison shopping will always get you the best deal, so do shop around, and compare premiums. Ask for quotes from several insurance companies but be sure to know beforehand what type and level of cover you want so you can compare like with like.