It’s only natural that as we reach 50 we start to consider our health more than we did when we were younger; the aching back after a challenging day in the garden; the inability to read a paper or magazine without reaching for your glasses (or extending your arm as far as you can – know what I mean) and don’t forget that unavoidable groan as you sit down.
It’s little wonder then that more over 50s are turning to private health insurance as a way of guarding their welfare; in fact the over 50s age group worry more about their health and wellbeing than any other age. A part of the so called ‘midlife crisis’? Who knows?
Never fear though as help is at hand apparently in the form of apples. Would you believe that according to the University of Oxford, if all us ‘50 plusers’ ate one apple every day, there would be 8,500 fewer deaths from heart attacks and strokes.
Now that’s a lot of apples!
The question is, which health insurance plan will meet your requirements and budget?
If you are considering private medical insurance, it’s important to know that you are making the right choices when it comes to choosing both the provider and the type of health cover.
The NHS is a great service, but if you want to avoid those waiting lists and see a specialist when it suits you, private health insurance could be the way forward. Of course in the case of emergencies the NHS will always be there for you but many are reassured by the feeling of control health insurance gives them.
The right plan vs the wrong plan?
We all have individual healthcare needs; today you could be a healthy fifty year old but who knows what tomorrow will bring. Unfortunately I can speak from personal experience when I say you never know what’s waiting round the corner.
I too considered myself relatively healthy having never needed hospital treatment until I reached 48 but that was when everything changed. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer was a massive shock to me and my family but luckily I had private health insurance to help me through the experience.
Of course I could have seen an NHS specialist in my local area but my private health insurance gave me the freedom to research the best consultants in the field. I ended up being treated in the Hampshire Clinic, some 90 miles from home admittedly but something I will never regret and a small price to pay for the excellent care I received.
Your age is one of the biggest factors when calculating the price you pay for private healthcare so shopping around is critical. There are number of comparison websites on hand to help you compare health insurance quotes and get the best level of cover at the right price.
Be sure you know what risks or illnesses are covered though as there could be exclusions. Don’t forget the cheapest option may not always give you the cover you require.
Its true health insurance can be expensive and when you are over 50, health insurance certainly won’t be cheap, but there are ways that you can reduce the costs. For example you can:
- Pay a higher excess
- Pay a percentage of treatment costs
- Agree to NHS care if treatment is within a specified timeframe (typically 6 weeks)
- Limit the number of consultant visits per annum
- Cap the amount payable for outpatient treatments
Some plan providers offer other incentives based on a healthy lifestyle so it certainly is worth shopping around.
So which health insurance plan is best for you?
The best health insurance plan for you is the one that allows you to tailor the cover to suite your own personal needs whilst keeping within a comfortable budget. Start off with an online comparison site to narrow your choices down, then if you are still unsure which health insurance plan is right, call one of the helpline numbers most sites offer to talk through your options and ‘fine tune’ your plan.
Don’t forget, if you already have an illness or have had a serious condition, the insurance company may exclude this from the policy or at least exclude it for a certain number of years depending on the condition. It is important to be completely honest though when completing your application as if you neglect to tell the insurer something, your claim may not be paid when the time comes. Honesty is always the best policy.