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Factors affecting the cost of private health insurance
There are a large number of factors which will affect the cost of your private health insurance, but broadly, they can be separated into two camps, those you have control over, and those you don’t.
Pricing factors you have control over
When you’re configuring your health insurance policy there are certain of choices you will need to make, all of which will affect the eventual price of the policy. The most important are:
How many people are on the policy
The more people you have on a private medical policy the higher the price will be, however, what we often find is that the price per person comes down after you add three or more people to a quote. Businesses, especially large ones, benefit from much lower prices per person for instance, and some providers will cover partners or children for free on family policies.
The level of cover you choose
The level of cover you choose, and specifically whether you would like to be covered for outpatient treatments and diagnosis will significantly affect the price of your policy.
All private medical insurance policies cover the cost of inpatient treatments, meaning those where an overnight stay is required. We should point out that this is only for acute medical conditions, which are those that can be cured. No health insurance policy in the UK will cover you for chronic conditions, although you may find that if you have outpatient protection, they will cover the cost of diagnosing the condition.
By including outpatient protection, you will also benefit from receiving treatment for conditions where an overnight stay in hospital isn’t required. So for instance, receiving physiotherapy following a recent injury would be covered by most comprehensive policies which include outpatient cover. Emergency services are strictly excluded, however, and you should always use NHS services in the event of an emergency.
The excess on the policy
The excess you choose will range from £0 to £1,500 per claim per annum - naturally, the higher the excess the less your health insurance premiums will be. We always recommend keeping excesses relatively low to avoid a sudden additional cost when you’re unwell - it’s the last thing you need.
Which hospitals you want access to
Most insurers will have a fixed list of hospitals that they will give you access to. These mid-range private hospitals will be spread across the UK, but typically won’t include expensive facilities in Central London. You can choose which hospitals you have access to, and depending on which you choose, your premium will increase or decrease.
Any additional extras
If you opt to include things such as routine dental and optical cover, or in some cases where it isn’t already included, mental health cover, the price of the policy will increase.
Pricing factors you won’t have control over
There are a number of factors you won’t have complete control over when it comes to the price of your health insurance policy, we haven’t gone into too much detail with these, but they include:
- Your location (usually not easily changed)
- Your medical history
- Your age
- Your profession
- Inflation in policy premiums
- Cost of recent claims to the insurer