Changing Your Private Medical Insurance Provider
If you are unhappy with your current private medical insurance plan for any reason, then you are within your rights to switch to a new provider who may offer you a better service.
Find out how to go about switching, and what sorts of things you should be looking out for when you do, over the course of this quick and helpful guide.
In this guide:
Why might I want to change insurer?
One of the most common and most straightforward reasons for wanting to switch provider is increasing premiums. There are two basic reasons why the premiums could go up steadily in cost throughout the duration of your policy:
1. Your age. Put simply, private medical insurance becomes more expensive as you get older because, again put simply, the older you are, the more likely you are to make a claim. Different providers will have different policies regarding how often and by how much your premiums will go up with your age. As such, by switching to a different provider, you may find that you get a better deal, given your age, than you were getting with you current one.
2. General inflation. It is an unfortunate but unavoidable fact that, over time, most things tend to get more expensive, and the world of health care is no exception. Diagnosis and treatment can go up in cost as technology develops. This will make less of an impact on your premiums than your age will, but it is nonetheless a factor.
It is also worth noting that if you make a claim at any point, then you’ll likely find that your premiums become more expensive afterwards, particularly if the claim is related to what becomes an on-going medical problem.
Other than rising costs, other reasons you might find for wanting to switch include simply being unsatisfied with the general service you are being given. You might find your current provider’s customer service disagreeable for example.
Things to Think About Before Switching
Before you come to actually make the switch there are a few things that you should be bearing in mind.
Firstly, and rather straightforwardly, you will want to shop around extensively to make sure that you find a new provider offering a service that does actually fulfil your needs, given your reasons for wanting to switch in the first place.
If it’s a money issue, then you’ll want to make sure that you are able to strike a balance between saving what you want to save while still getting the service and cover that you need. You could find a policy that is significantly cheaper than your existing one but does not offer you the same level of outpatient care as you enjoyed previously.
Secondly, but no less importantly, is the issue of excluded treatments or conditions. Some private medical insurance providers will simply keep the same list of excluded conditions or treatments that your current provider follows. New providers are unlikely to simply add new exclusions to the list; however, you may find that if you won’t be covered for anything related to any illnesses or injuries you have recently suffered from.
When you switch, you will often have the option of doing so on a continuing personal medical exclusions basis, meaning that your new insurance provider commits to covering you on exactly the same basis as your current one. If you have this option, you should take it.
How to Change Insurer
Changing insurer is a relatively straightforward process. Simply get in touch with your current provider, once you’ve shopped around and settled on a new policy, and inform them of your decision.
You are entitled to do this at any point during the policy’s term, but it makes most sense to do so at the end of the year, so that you don’t losing any payments that you are contracted to make.