Choosing the right health insurance: three main factors

In most European countries, private health insurance coverage is often seen as something unessential, which only the wealthy can afford.

However, an insurance will probably go a long way in helping you with any kind of health-related troubles, avoiding the stress and the long waits that can come with the public health service.

Insurances do only cover the cost of treatments, but also – and most importantly – offer a different standard of service as opposed to public facilities.

Filing a clinical negligence claim for the last time a treatment went wrong can be a good solution in the short term, but to avoid any such an issue going forward, you should start thinking of a plan that’s right for you and your wallet.

The average person rarely has a comprehensive view of the factors involved, so here are three useful tips to help you choose private health insurance wisely.

Money first

Remember that a typical family premium averages between £700 and £1,650 per year, so ask the company a question or two if the price proposed is sensibly below – or above – this price bracket. Cheaper insurances will only cover a part of the expenses, while when paying too much you  might be splashing for services you are unlikely to need going forward.

Also bear in mind that your premiums will increase year after year, as the likelihood of incurring in health accidents increases over time as well. So before signing up for anything, always check the average progression of premiums over time with the insurer and make sure you’ll be able to afford them. For as useful as health insurance can be, low-income families should prioritise car and home insurance.

Seek independent advice

Money is not everything, and choosing between two services with a similar price is not a straight-forward process. In this kind of situation you should make the most of the wealth of industry knowledge that’s available through independent financial advisors. The go-to body in the UK is AMII (Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries), which will help you choose the most reliable insurance specialists in the area where you live.

Among the perks of the service is the annual review of your insurance plan that AMII intermediary members can provide. This way you will not only get to choose the right plan from the start, but you will also be able to review it yearly and check if it matched your expectations or not.

Manage expectations

When applying for the health insurance of your choice, you should know that previous conditions won’t be covered. Generally speaking, insurances in the UK do not cover conditions that occurred over the five years prior to the start of the contract, and will not cover such conditions over the first two years either.

So never make the mistake of seeing private health insurance as a way to deal with your current health issues, but rather as a way to help make it through your future ones in a much smoother fashion.

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