Can I still afford private medical insurance?

Are there ways to keep my premiums down with the current cost of living crisis?

Can I still afford private medical insurance - A-Plan Insurance

This article is designed to help those with a current private medical or health insurance policy.

Before you possibly think of cancelling cover to remove yet another direct debit, we urge you to think, take advice and understand what options could be available to you.

At A-Plan we are policy experts and offer a free review of your current policy, so why not talk to our dedicated team to see what can be done.

The great news is that there are lots of ways to reduce your private medical insurance premiums. There are several very good UK insurers available to consumers and you should always shop around at each renewal.

Medical insurance, unfortunately, goes up every year for several reasons, as we get older the risk of health problems increases and so must our insurance cost due to medical inflation (cost of drugs, doctors, hospitals, treatment).

But don’t worry, there are ways you can keep your current policy but perhaps reduce your premium – or even switch to a more competitive insurer.

Voluntary Excess

By taking a voluntary excess, like with car insurance, you pay the first part of any claim and can get discounts on your cover. Excesses range from £100 to £5,000 with a range of discounts from around 10% to 40%. Obviously, only take the excess you can afford if you were to fall ill and need to claim.

Insurers hospital list

You might think that the cost of a hip replacement is the same throughout the country but in truth it is not. In London the costs are higher and hospitals (and individual consultants and surgeons) around the country charge different amounts. If you want full choice, you pay more, if you are happy to stay local and take the insurers preferred list, then this helps the insurer control costs and offer you a discount – often around 20%

Comprehensive cover?

A full medical plan covers all costs for diagnosis and then all the costs of treatment. A consultation costs around £200, an x-ray around £100, blood tests vary, and scans like an MRI could be around £800-1500. If you can afford to pay these types of diagnosis costs, or happy to use the NHS for diagnosing your issue, then you could take a Treatment only plan which could save you as much as 40%. Also, there are options to have a limited amount of cover (e.g. £1,000 of diagnosis) and you contribute the rest, this can also attract a 15-20% discount.

Cancer cover?

The NHS does a pretty good job with cancer so you could choose a cheaper plan excluding cancer treatment, and rely on the NHS just for this, but have the peace of mind that anything else will be dealt with privately.

6-week waiting options

This is where you take around a 15% discount in exchange for agreeing to being treated by the NHS rather than use your private insurance IF the NHS can treat you within 6 weeks. If they can’t (dependent on local waiting times, they often can’t) you go private. 

Switching or transferring private medical insurers

The obvious way to save money is to transfer or switch from your insurer to a new one. There is two ways to do this:

  1. Simply start a new plan, but be warned if you start new, only new future conditions will be covered, all existing conditions will be excluded.
  2. Transfer/switch carrying on your no claims/medical history meaning that only conditions that existed before your original policy would be excluded. For this there are strict eligibility criteria, and you should always get advice when doing this.

A-Plan clients saved an average 23% on their private medical insurance policies, by switching insurers via our dedicated and qualified team.

The average saving was a whopping £420.40 per year. These figures are based on a review of 300 clients that switched to a comparable or better policy (100 clients in August 2021, 100 clients December 2021 and 100 clients in March 2022)

Whatever your situation, even if you have made a claim, there are options, and we can help.

Call your local branch now, or phone 0800 172 172 or fill in this form and we’ll call you at a time that suits you.