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What is health insurance for seniors?
The prospect of becoming ill is something we are all more likely to think about the older we get. However well we like to keep in shape, getting older presents us all with a greater chance of developing a health condition which could require medical assistance.
Lengthy waiting lists for treatment can add even more stress to a difficult situation at any age, meanwhile, not least for older people. Health insurance for seniors provides cover for private medical care which can reduce the lengthy delay often experienced by those needing treatment. Cover is usually for those approaching retirement age and policies tend to start for those aged over 60.
Put simply, senior health insurance is private health insurance tailored to provide for an older age bracket. The older you get, the higher risk you present to insurance providers but the good news is, if you don’t already have private health insurance in place, many offer specialist policies specifically tailored to the needs of older policyholders regardless.
Specialist health insurance for seniors pays for treatment for older people if they are ill or have suffered an injury. It allows faster diagnosis and treatment sooner than you might expect through the NHS. It also offers other benefits such as a choice of hospitals or treatment centres, your own private room and appointments at a time to suit you, depending on the level of cover you choose.
Tailored, top-quality healthcare like this means you can put all your energies into getting well again and quickly. Lots of health insurance companies offer specialist plans for the over 50s, 60s and 70s, so it can be a good idea to compare health insurance quotes to get the best cover for your time of life.
How does health insurance for seniors work?
Senior health insurance works in exactly the same way as a normal health insurance policy. Policyholders pay a monthly or an annual premium, which is set depending on the level of cover required, and the insurer then pays out for any treatment covered by the plan.
What does health insurance for seniors cover?
Like a standard health insurance policy, which typically covers the cost of treatment for acute conditions that occur after your policy has begun, health insurance for seniors can include cover for treatment as an inpatient, an outpatient and a day patient.
Some health insurers even let you pick exactly what is covered from a range of options like:
- Treatment for specific diseases like cancer
- Psychiatric treatment
- Dental treatment
- Optical appointments
- Medical treatment and nursing at home
If a health insurance company’s standard senior policy doesn’t include everything you’re looking for, you might also choose to upgrade and add cover for a range of conditions you may be concerned about as you get older too.
If there’s a history of cancer or heart disease in your family, you might also look for a specialist add-on option to cover you for the very latest innovative treatments and surgery relating to these conditions. You might also want to think about post-surgery care, including physiotherapy and rehabilitation, as you get older too.
If you’re thinking ahead to a time when you may need joint (hip or knee) replacement surgery, opting for health insurance that covers you for this type of treatment will also give you access to expert care without enduring lengthy periods of pain.
Some comprehensive policies also cover practicalities such as home nursing and the cost of a cattery or kennels for your pets if you have to stay in hospital for a length of time.
What doesn’t senior health insurance cover?
Most health insurance policies won’t cover pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses, and this goes for senior health insurance policies too.
A chronic condition is classified as a disease, injury or illness that needs to be treated and managed indefinitely, such as arthritis or diabetes. If you’ve already been diagnosed with and treated for the condition, insurance companies will regard it as a pre-existing condition.
If the chronic condition develops after the start of the policy you will, however, be covered for treatment to help stabilise the condition and for any acute flare-ups in the future.
Does senior health insurance cost more than normal health insurance?
Typically, the cost of health insurance will usually increase once you are over 50. Your age will affect the cost because older patients are statistically likely to claim more frequently for treatment and diagnoses than younger patients.
These claims cost the insurance company more money, so they charge higher premiums to insure older customers. This means that someone in their 70s might pay as much as three times more for health insurance than someone in their 30s.
Existing policies are also likely to get more expensive as you get older because the cost of the premiums is not fixed, however, so if you’ve left putting health insurance in place until later life it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s going to be more costly as a result. Health insurance premiums are usually reviewed every year and so can go up annually.
Some insurers also offer a second year at the same price as the first year providing that no claims are made, to help give peace of mind on costs incurred over the two years.
What factors influence the cost of senior health insurance?
There are a number of ways in which you can make your senior health insurance more affordable. Some policies offer cheaper premiums if you choose a so-called ‘six-week wait’ option, where you use the NHS to receive inpatient treatment unless the expected wait is longer than six weeks. In this case, you would receive private treatment via your policy right away.
You can also reduce your premiums by limiting the choice of clinics or hospitals you choose for treatment or by agreeing to pay a larger excess.
Many of senior health insurance policies are modular and allow you to balance your budget against exactly the type of cover you feel you need. So, it’s worth having a good think about the type of policy you want and the type of cover you are looking to put in place, as opting for specific cover will help keep your premiums lower overall.
How do I buy senior health insurance?
The best way to make sure you’re getting the right policy for your individual needs is to compare senior health insurance quotes from a number of providers. As the leading health insurance comparison website in the UK, ActiveQuote partners with Money Supermarket, GoCompare and uSwitch to bring our customers the best cover at the right price.
When you compare senior health insurance quotes with ActiveQuote, you will be asked a few simple questions including your name and address, your date of birth, whether or not you smoke and your monthly health insurance budget.
Different policies offer different benefits, so make sure that the level of cover suits your needs. You will also have to disclose any pre-existing and chronic conditions, which might also affect the level of cover you’re offered.
Why compare health insurance for seniors with ActiveQuote.com?
Buying health insurance can be daunting and we understand how important it is for you to feel confident you have the cover that’s right for you and your family. The majority of our policies are straightforward and can be bought online. Our highly trained team is also ready to take your call and answer any queries you have over the telephone if you prefer, and we’re more than happy to talk you through the best senior health insurance policies available to you.
With ActiveQuote you can:
- View more than 50 quotes online
- Compare the UK’s leading insurers
- Tailor your quotes online with live price updates
- Buy your chosen health insurance online
- Get free, expert and impartial advice from a health insurance specialist
- Deal with a business with a 5* rating on Trustpilot