Having worked in the healthcare industry for nearly 20 years, I’m a firm believer that nothing in life is as important as your health. But I also appreciate that affordability is an important consideration for anyone looking to review their health insurance options – especially with worldwide medical costs on the increase.
What I would say to anyone who is worried about rising premiums, is that you generally have more options than you think. Depending on your situation, there are all kinds of ways to save money, without compromising on your cover. Sometimes, it’s just a case of asking the right questions.
Are you paying for any benefits you don’t need?
In today’s market, there are plenty of menu-driven plans that let you tailor your cover to your individual needs. So be sure to take full advantage. For example, dental, optical and wellness benefits are often offered as optional extras rather than core benefits. Plus, some providers allow you to remove maternity benefits from your plan.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for a minute suggesting that you strip your cover down to the bare bones. But by separating the necessities from the nice-to-haves, you can often strike a sensible balance between the two. The thing to remember is that while your health should always be your main priority, it also has to work for you financially.
Do you really need worldwide cover?
As an expat, it’s always a good rule of thumb to choose international health insurance ahead of any local alternatives. Besides giving you access to a wider range of facilities, it’s more likely to include essential benefits such as emergency cover and repatriation. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that international cover is the same as worldwide cover or you could end up paying over the odds.
Most international insurers offer a reduced premium if you restrict your cover to certain geographical areas. This can be particularly cost effective if you’re predominantly based in one part of the world. Just be mindful that some countries, such as the US, are considerably more expensive than others. So, unless you spend a lot of time there, you should think twice before including it in your policy.
Have you taken out an excess or annual deductible?
There’s nothing revolutionary about including an excess or annual deductible on your policy. But if you want to reduce your premiums without limiting your cover, it’s a great place to start. By agreeing to pay the first amount of any claims yourself, you can make some significant savings on your premiums.
These days, most international insurers offer a range of excess options. Just think carefully about the figure you choose, because larger amounts can be counter-productive when it comes to making a claim – especially if they are more expensive than your out-patient treatment.
What are you waiting for?
One of the best things about today’s health insurance market, is that there are so many options out there. It’s amazing how much you can save by shopping around and tailoring a plan to your individual needs. But ultimately, it’s about what’s right for you. And of course, if you need a reputable broker to point you in the right direction, you know who to call!
Helping to keep premiums manageable is just one of the ways we support our customers at JW Seagon. Contact us today.