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Top Tips for Getting Cheaper Health Insurance

Last updated: 23. 03. 2020

You may think that private healthcare is a luxury only those with hefty wallets can afford, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to get cheap health insurance and we’re here to show you how you can get a slice of the pie, too.   

What is private health insurance?

Private health insurance is a policy in which you pay a premium for healthcare. While we have the NHS in the UK, and we all have access to free healthcare, private medical insurance grants you treatments and medicines not available on the NHS, as well as entitling you to immediate referrals and private hospital rooms, among other perks.  

Check You’re Not Already Covered

The cheapest health insurance premium is a free one. You’d be surprised by how many companies will offer private health insurance as part of their benefit package to their employees; it may seem obvious, but before you think about taking out a policy check you’re not already covered. Ordinarily, it’s not just the employee who has access to this medical benefit but often their immediate family as well. So, quiz the other half too to first see if you really need to take out insurance. 

Use a Price Comparison Website

If you’re looking for a cheap health insurance quote, then there’s no better place to start than on a price comparison website like ours. Competition for custom is rife among insurance companies and in our experience we’ve found that new customers nearly always come out on top for bagging the best deals.
With other types of insurance, our premiums either stay the same or increase when it comes to renewal; that’s why it’s best to switch. But with our health, premiums will almost always rise year on year because, truth bomb: we’re not getting any younger. The curse of another year older increases our likelihood of having to make a claim. 
You may still be able to fix up a deal with your provider and cling on to your current quote – we especially recommend exploring this option if you have a pre-existing medical condition that you’re already covered for, as some companies will refuse to insure you as a new customer otherwise. 
Now you’re fully prepped to take out private health insurance, we’ll show you a few more tricks to keeping prices low in your search.

Consider Increasing Your Excess

A great way to get cheaper health insurance is to increase your excess. But while your eyes might bulge at the lower premiums, remember what this entails: you’ll be obliged to pay that excess if you come to making a claim. Medical bills can be expensive, so do some sums to see what excess you can realistically afford to pay, compared with the cost of a pricier premium. 
In addition, question whether the price shown is the real deal. Some plans may have a lower premium, but your provider will only pay a percentage of your medial bill. So, in the event of a claim, you may end up paying more, all just to save a few pounds on your policy.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Call us out for stating the obvious, but one of the top factors contributing to increased premiums is (along with age) whether you smoke. Insurers see smoking as a lifestyle choice that will have a direct impact on your likelihood of making a claim. The same goes for drinking and being overweight. 
So, to help find yourself cheaper health insurance, consider making a few lifestyle changes. It won’t just be good for your health, but your wallet, too! Plus, if you demonstrate you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, some companies even offer rewards. 

The Six-Week Referral Scheme

Another favourite of ours to save money on your health insurance quote is the six-week option. With this condition, your provider will cover you if you can’t get a referral within six weeks and, as it doesn’t demand immediate care, it’s cheaper. 
On the flipside, some options will increase your premium, so really look into exactly what you’re paying for with optional extras. Why pay more for a service that isn’t necessary for you?

Do you really need it?

Finally, think again whether you really need it. Life-threatening illnesses like cancer carry an obligatory, maximum two-week referral scheme with the NHS which is a comparatively short time compared to other waiting periods. The vast majority of procedures are covered on the NHS and you will always receive emergency treatment for life-threatening conditions, whether you have private healthcare or not. 
Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.