Top 10 Tips when Buying Private Medical Insurance or Reviewing Your Current Scheme

The number of people in Britain taking out private medical insurance has risen significantly this year for the first time since 2008. Below are our top tips to help you navigate this confusing market and ensure you get the best deal for you.

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1. Benefit structure – Lots of policies are modular these days so it’s worth having a good think about what’s important to you. Perhaps psychiatric cover isn’t the top of your list? Perhaps limiting the amount of out-patient cover would be worthwhile? Could having access to a Private GP in central London be a priority? Any good advisor will take the time to understand your needs in a detailed way and find a product that meets them perfectly.

2. Be clear on No Claims Discounts – Some health insurers offer them, some don’t, and unfortunately only a crystal ball can tell you if this option will be good for you in the long-run. Therefore, it’s hugely important that you understand what you’re getting into. It’s easy to be seduced by a low premium, but be aware that a 50% initial no claims discount means your actual base premium is twice the price you’ve been quoted!

3. Be cautious of sales people that represent a single insurer – Whilst professional and knowledgeable in most instances, success for them is selling you their product, and their product alone. The price you’ll pay will be no less by going direct and like all good sales people, they will focus on the great points of their offering, but can’t give you an impartial view of how they stack up against their competitors. Product, benefits, features, service, administration and claims can vary wildly between insurers, so how can this person be sure that your needs wouldn’t be better served elsewhere?

4. Avoid online comparison websites – We’re talking about your health here so don’t manage the process like you would when reviewing your home or car insurance. Comparison sites can leave you more confused than when you started, and entering your details into one will likely lead to unwanted emails and phone calls from organisations to which your information has often been sold.

5. Consider the importance of wellness initiatives – The success of the health insurance market relies heavily upon healthy lives being covered to offset the claims cost of those who become ill. In recent years many insurers have started to provide wellness initiatives as part of their products in an attempt to incentivise healthy behaviour and provide greater value to members. Wellbeing is a sexy topic in society at present, so if discounted gym memberships, free wearable tech devices and low cost health screening resonates with you, find a plan that delivers them.

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6. Do your homework on cancer cover – Possibly the most emotive reason that people buy Private Medical Insurance in the first place? It’s true that oncology cover differed greatly in the past between UK medical insurance providers, but it’s not so much of a differentiator these days, with most insurers recognising how important it is to offer comprehensive cover as a default setting. The most important elements to check are that the chosen product provides cover for biological therapies (the expensive cancer drugs), palliative care and the time limits which apply before cover ceases.

7. Consider your hospital selection – Do you really need all of those top-tier hospitals in Central London covered? Probably not. There is a common misconception among those with health insurance that the amount a hospital charges for accommodation and other sundries is directly related to clinical outcomes. This simply isn’t the case. A hospital selection more suited to your geographical location or where the insurer directs you, can deliver handsome savings on your premium and still provide an excellent setting for any treatment.

8. Take advice on Consultant selection – Whilst most insurers say they provide “Full Refund” for Consultant costs, what most actually mean is that they will cover in full up to an amount they deem reasonable and customary for the procedure in question. This can mean that customers are left with a shortfall between what the Consultant charges, and what the insurer is willing to pay. Insurers often catch the brunt of peoples’ frustrations here but truth be told, if an insurer won’t pay a Consultant’s bill in full, it’s likely the Consultant charges more than the typical cost for that procedure, and with no clear evidence that their clinical outcomes, expertise, experience or re-admission rates warrant a higher value on their work. Some insurers can genuinely provide full cover for Consultants, Surgeons and Anaesthetists so it’s important to consider your priorities here.

9. Policy Excess – An excess is a great way to reduce your premium by agreeing to pay the first (x) amount of a claim. If you are most concerned with very large healthcare costs and you want to keep the premiums low, then perhaps a large excess or shared-responsibility could be suitable. The most common excess is £100 and will typically deliver between a 7-10% discount on your premium.

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10. Seek independent qualified advice
– With a surge in Private Medical Insurance sales comes an increased number of sales channels to service that demand. Regrettably not all of these channels possess the professional qualifications and experience to do a great job. Our top tip is to seek independent advice from a qualified intermediary who has access to all UK health insurance providers. Specialist health insurance intermediaries offer an impartial view of the market and provide you with prices from all insurers, meaning they can genuinely put your needs at the top of their priority list without having to shoehorn you into product which isn’t quite right. What’s more, as they have customers with all insurers but no allegiance to any, you can be sure that any views of specific insurers (good, bad and indifferent) are impartial and based on real customer experiences.

Move Over Boris, The Bricycles Have Landed

If you’ve been out and about in Brighton the past few days, you’ll have noticed the arrival of the new “Boris Bikes”, part of a new bike share scheme that commenced in the City on the 1st September. Launching with 35 parking hubs, another 15 are to be completed by the end of the month to house 450 bikes in total once the roll out is complete.

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During the opening weekend, over 1500 people signed up and organisers reported that users were taking bikes out as early as 2am on the Saturday. In true Brighton style, residents gathered along the seafront to watch Vince Venus, aka Juice FM’s Guy Lloyd, and friends demonstrate how one might try to negotiate a Life Bike in six-inch heels.

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(Friend of Engage Healthcare, Vince Venus, aka Juice FM’s Guy Lloyd, at the Brighton Life Bikes launch event).

The bikes (or “Brikes” as they’re starting to be affectionately referred as) are rented by downloading the Social Bicycles app. They cost £1 to sign up and 3p per minute to use. You can find out more here: https://www.btnbikeshare.com/ including how to download the app, where the bikes are stationed and how to register for an annual membership.

Receive a Complementary Fruit Box (Corporate Customer) – Terms & Conditions

Is your company health insurance costing you more than it should? Allow us to review your current scheme for free, and receive a complementary 30-piece fruit box every month when you appoint us.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
The corporate customer must appoint Engage Healthcare to their existing plan before the review will commence. In the instance of remaining with the existing provider, Engage Healthcare will become the broker on behalf of the customer and holding insurer. This will incur no additional cost to the customer. Customer fruit boxes will be dispatched on the renewal date of policy or first working day following a weekend renewal and each month thereafter. The annual premium must be a minimum of £6,000 to qualify.

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Engage Healthcare Relocates to New Central Hove Office

Following a period of continued growth across all lines of business and with two new appointments to the team, Engage Healthcare has relocated to a new office space in central Hove.

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The business has been successful in securing a number of new and exciting clients over the past 12 months, throughout South East England and London. As a result, Engage Healthcare’s new office location is within close proximity to Hove railway station with great transport links to clients’ key locations, including only an hour to London.

You can now find us at Kingsway House, 134-140 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2DL. If you’re in the area, please feel free to drop in!

All Major UK Health Insurers

Engage Healthcare Ltd reviews your health insurance cover against all major UK health insurance providers to find you the right cover, for the best price. Get in touch today.

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Receive a Complementary Fruit Box (Individual Customer) – Terms & Conditions

Is your health insurance costing you more than it should? Allow us to review your current scheme for free, and we’ll give you a complementary 30-piece fruit box.

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
The individual customer must appoint Engage Healthcare to their existing plan before the review will commence. In the instance of remaining with the existing provider, Engage Healthcare will become the broker on behalf of the customer and holding insurer. This will incur no additional cost to the customer. Customer fruit boxes will be dispatched on the renewal date of policy or first working day following a weekend renewal.

Engage Healthcare Ltd Partners with Taylor Brunswick Group

Engage Healthcare Ltd announce international partnership with Hong Kong based Wealth Management firm.

Extending their reach further, the Sussex based Health Insurance and Employee Benefits specialist has agreed a new partnership with The Taylor Brunswick Group, an independent and forward-thinking Wealth Management expert based in the heart of Asia.

Taylor Brunswick is a collection of experienced and driven industry professionals who are bringing the standard and quality of onshore financial advice, offshore. Their client-centric approach based on a set of fundamental servicing principles and coupled with award winning technology has drastically improved the quality of service and advice received by clients.

Nick Hale, Director and founder of Engage Healthcare commented, “We don’t enter into new partnerships lightly as being a relatively young business, our reputation and the values of those we associate with rank highly on our priority list. We have been extremely impressed with the way in which Taylor Brunswick operate and importantly, their values of a client-centric approach, integrity and independence very closely align to our own. We are very excited about working together moving forward and are certain that the relationship will be a long and prosperous one”.

Engage Healthcare will assist Taylor Brunswick’s international medical insurance clients who are re-locating to the UK and Europe, whilst Taylor Brunswick will assist those clients of Engage Healthcare based in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia whom are in need of expert Wealth Management Advice.

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More information relating to The Taylor Brunswick Group can be found at https://www.majorcompare.com and https://www.majorcompare.com.hk

If you’re interested in finding out more about Engage Healthcare Ltd please contact 01273 457753 or email enquiries@engage-healthcare.co.uk

Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and Engage Healthcare

chestnut-logoChestnut Tree House is a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions throughout East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. Engage Healthcare is privileged to support Chestnut Tree House and is committed to raising essential funds to support the fantastic work which continues to be done.

The hospice

There are potentially 1,000 families with life-limited children in Sussex. Chestnut Tree House offers support for the whole family including psychological and bereavement support, end of life and short break care and sibling support.
It currently costs well over £3.5m each year to provide all the care services provided by Chestnut Tree House. Families are never charged for their care and less than 7p in every pound is funded by the government, so they rely heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex and beyond.

At Chestnut Tree House their goal is to provide the best quality of life for children, young people and their families, and to offer a total package of practical, social and spiritual support throughout each child’s life, however short it may be.

What they do

Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice operates throughout East and West Sussex to give children with life-shortening illnesses and their families care, support, quality time and most importantly – fun.
They provide support for life-limited children through short breaks at the hospice, and by offering community care across Sussex to families during a time of great need.
They offer a range of care services, free of charge, from creative play therapy and activity days to hospice grief counselling for families.
At Chestnut Tree House they understand the effect a life-limiting illness has on the whole family so their services are here to help everyone. They offer support from neonatal care right through to support for siblings and grandparents.

They aim is to make every day count. The good days, the bad days and the last days.