The health of your family is very important for a happy and productive life. Family private health insurance gives you peace of mind and your family high quality private healthcare in a comfortable environment during the stressful times when it is needed. It may be important for a member of your family to get fast treatment, which will most likely not be possible with long National Health Service (NHS) waiting lists. Family private health insurance need not be expensive, because there are low cost plans for every family requirement.
What does Family Health Insurance Cover?
What family health insurance covers depends on the plan. The basic plans all fully cover inpatient and day-patient consultations as well as tests and scans and treatments. Even the most basic plan will be a huge benefit to your family if they need an emergency hospital stay. It protects your family at work or in school. Most plans also provide 24/7 visiting hours as well as accommodation for parents, so they can stay with a child during treatment.
It is important to research all the aspects of any given plan to make sure your family’s needs are met for the amount you can afford to pay. The more comprehensive the plan, the more additional benefits and outpatient treatment you will get.
What are the most Important Benefits?
Accommodation for parents at the hospital is one of the most important considerations. It may be very frightening for a child to stay in the hospital and undergo different tests or treatments. Having a parent always there will help the child relax and make the treatment proceed better. Most plans allow this for children under nine years, and some for children up to 16 years.
Another option that is offered with most family plans is routine optical and dental treatments. This alone could save you a lot of money in the long run. This option is usually given as a cash-back scheme after you have paid your bill. There will be specified limits within the policy for this.
Other options from which you will be able to choose are:
- Home nursing
- The use of a private ambulance
- Oral surgery
How to make it Affordable?
Whether or not to buy private family medical insurance depends greatly on the family budget. There are many plans that offer full inpatient coverage and limited outpatient coverage that are affordable, but there are other ways to reduce the cost of your premiums.
Add an excess—an excess of 250 pounds will reduce the cost of a premium by about 10 per cent. This means when you need health care, you first pay 250 pounds on the bill, and the insurance company will pay the rest. This excess amount can be different for each member of your family. After you have paid the excess, you need not pay any more of your medical bills during that policy year. The next policy year, you will need to pay the excess again.
Wait six weeks for treatment—this option means at the time you need health care, if the NHS has a longer waiting list for inpatient treatment than six weeks, you will get private care immediately. If the NHS waiting list is shorter than six weeks, you agree to get NHS care. Since the NHS waiting lists are usually much longer than six weeks, this could be a good option, because it will reduce your premium by about 20 per cent.
Reduce your choice of hospital—this means you choose hospitals that are local to you or private wards of NHS hospitals. A local list consists of hospitals that are within a certain radius of your home. When looking at this option, you should know that it may restrict your hospital choice and exclude a specialist hospital such as a children’s hospital. If that is not an issue, it can also reduce your premium by about 20 per cent.
Other Factors that Affect the Cost of the Premium
Your age is one of the main factors that raise premiums. Since the policy is renewable each year, the insurance company will want to review the premium you pay to make sure it is enough to cover the risk for your age. The older people get, the higher the possibility they will need medical treatment which means the higher the cost of premiums.
Smoking is another factor that will raise the cost of health insurance. If you have smoked within the last 12 months, your premiums will cost more than for a non-smoker. However, if you have a regular exercise regime, it may lower the cost of your premiums. Some of the big insurance companies actually aggressively endorse a healthy lifestyle and give discounted premium rates on a point system for healthy living.
Family health insurance companies group individual policies for your family with one premium cost. There is usually a discount when you buy all the policies at the same time. You will be able to plan healthcare appointments that are convenient for your lifestyle and working schedule. You will also be able to schedule appointments so that your child doesn’t miss important classes or exams. With some policy plans, you will be able to choose the hospital where your child will receive treatment. Health insurance providers will help you work out the best coverage possible for your family according to how much you can afford to pay for premiums.