Choosing your health insurance plan can be confusing. Many people make the mistake of not taking out any cover at all, while others blindly sign up to their company’s policy without knowing if it is the best option for them.
The first thing that you need to consider is what level of cover you need and how much it will cost your family each month to pay for it.
It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, married or single, with children or without. If someone has medical problems they should consider top-up or specialist policies so that they can choose their doctor and hospital.
If someone is fit and healthy they might want to money by going for a high excess and a lower premium. Here is a guide for Affordable Health Insurance South Carolina.
What Level of Cover do you Need?
Basic Health Insurance: Most people choose basic health insurance which will pay for any necessary treatment that arises from illness or injury.
Top-up Health Insurance: Some people with pre-existing conditions may not be able to get basic health insurance so they will need top-up plans as a backup if their medical problems worsen. It’s important to note however that top-ups don’t usually include maternity or GP visits so they won’t suit everybody.
Specialist plans: These are suitable for those who want to choose their own doctor and hospital, with lower premiums than standard policies. They also enjoy unlimited benefit limits which means that there is no limit on the total amount that can be claimed in a year or in a lifetime.
How Can you Cut the Cost of Health Insurance?
Do your Research: Shop around and get at least three quotes from different insurers before choosing a policy. You will often find big differences in price so there is no point getting just one quote. If you let Brokers match you with up to four suitable plans they will contact you and you can choose the most competitive offer yourself.
Increase your Excess: This means that if an insured person makes a claim, the insurer pays less for each individual claim but more claims over a longer period of time. But increasing your excess will also mean that you have to pay more initial costs, so it’s a tradeoff between cost and cover. You can change your excess level at any time during the year as long as you give 31 days’ notice.
Bundle your life Assurance with your Health Cover: By buying both of these products from one insurer you could get them at a reduced price and enjoy other benefits such as reduced administration fees and extra extras like dental and optical care.
However, you should check whether the life assurance will pay out if for example you are diagnosed with a terminal illness; some insurers only pay out on death or disability.
Types of Health Insurance
There are four different types of private health insurance plans:
Statutory Health Insurance (SHIP): If you’re an employee then your employer will pay for SHIP on your behalf as part of their remuneration package. You can be covered by this scheme even if you change jobs but it can sometimes be quite restricted.
Single or Standard Cover: This is the most basic type of health insurance policy and its main benefit is that it allows you to be treated by any doctor anywhere
Gold, Platinum, or U Top Up: These plans are called ‘top-up’ because they act as a top layer on top of whatever level of cover SHIP provides. So if you need to go to the doctor, for example, and your SHIP covers 80% of the cost then your top-up policy will cover 20%. The monthly cost is usually around 50% more than standard insurance.
Quote only – no Obligation: This means that you give an insurer your details so they can check whether you qualify for health insurance but you don’t have to actually buy anything. You can then compare prices and policies before committing yourself.
There are many different factors that affect the cost of your insurance premium so it’s impossible to give a straight answer to this question. Generally, premiums tend to be higher for older people because they are more likely to need medical attention or have an accident than younger people.