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Last updated: 02/05/2024 | Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Extra Health Insurance: Add-Ons and Optional Cover

When it comes to tailoring your health insurance to fit your specific needs, considering extra health insurance add-ons and optional cover can help you tailor your policy to suit your circumstances. This guide explores the various types of add-ons available, helping you make informed decisions about how to best protect your health and financial well-being. Whether you're looking to expand your mental health cover, add dental care, or secure access to alternative therapies, understanding these options can significantly impact your healthcare journey.

In This Guide:

How Does Extra Private Health Insurance Work?

Extra health insurance, also referred to as secondary health insurance, complements your primary health insurance plan by covering additional services and treatments that your main policy does not. This type of insurance can help fill gaps in coverage, offering protection against specific health risks or providing broader options for healthcare services. Extras can include anything from dental and vision care to alternative therapies and extended overseas medical cover, enhancing your healthcare strategy and giving you greater peace of mind. By tailoring your cover with these additional options, you can create a more comprehensive health insurance package that meets your specific needs and lifestyle.

Types of Extra Private Health Insurance Plans

Opting for a secondary health insurance plan can transform your standard health insurance into a more comprehensive policy that caters to your unique needs. Here's a closer look at some popular add-ons and optional cover:

Dental and Optical Cover

Standard private medical insurance plans typically do not include dental or optical care unless it relates to a medical emergency. By adding dental and optical cover to your policy, you can cover the costs of routine check-ups, dental treatment, glasses, and contact lenses. This inclusion makes preventative care more accessible and helps manage the costs associated with maintaining your dental and eye health.

Mental Health Cover

Basic policies might offer limited mental health support, but extended mental health cover provides broader access to therapists, psychiatrists, and potentially long-term counselling sessions. This enhanced coverage is vital for individuals requiring ongoing mental health support, offering a range of treatment options and resources.

Alternative Therapies

For those who prefer holistic health approaches, adding coverage for alternative therapies can be a significant benefit. This add-on can include treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and homoeopathy, which are often sought for pain management, stress relief, and general wellness.

Extended Cancer Cover

Many insurance policies provide some cancer treatment cover, but extended cancer cover goes further. It might cover the cost of experimental treatments not typically available on standard policies, offer more comprehensive support during recovery, and include medications not approved by the NHS. This cover ensures access to cutting-edge treatments and additional support services.

Travel Insurance

Frequent travellers will find adding travel insurance to their health policy beneficial. This cover safeguards against medical emergencies while abroad, potentially saving substantial costs due to unforeseen illnesses or accidents in foreign countries. It often includes features like emergency repatriation, which can be critical in serious situations.

Maternity Cover

Incorporating maternity cover into your health insurance is especially helpful for those planning a family. It covers pregnancy-related healthcare costs, from prenatal appointments to childbirth and postnatal care, alleviating financial stress during this significant life event.

Protecting Your No Claim Discount

A No Claim Discount (NCD) is a valuable feature in health insurance that reduces your premium as a reward for not making any claims. To safeguard this discount even when you need to make a claim, you can opt for NCD protection at an additional cost. This protection ensures that your premiums do not increase just because you've made a claim.

Here’s how it works: If you make a claim that would typically reduce your NCD, having NCD protection means your discount level remains unchanged at your next renewal. However, the protection on the discount itself is used up. Essentially, you lose the protection but retain your existing discount level. This allows the NCD to continue benefiting you as usual when you renew your policy.

How Do Extras Affect Health Insurance Costs?

Adding extras or optional covers to your health insurance policy typically leads to an increase in premiums. Each additional feature—whether for dental care, mental health support, or alternative therapies—raises the cost because it broadens the scope of risks and potential claims the insurer needs to manage. While this means higher monthly or annual payments, it also enhances the level of protection, offering more comprehensive cover for services not included in a basic plan.

It’s crucial to weigh the cost of these premiums against the benefits. Extras like preventive health checks can detect issues early, potentially saving money on future treatments, and specific covers like for physiotherapy might offer financial savings if you frequently require such services. Insurers might also offer discounts for bundling several extras, partially offsetting the higher costs. Deciding to add extras should involve considering both your immediate health needs and long-term financial planning to ensure that the additional cover aligns with both your health priorities and budget constraints.

Should I Get Extra Private Health Insurance Cover?

Deciding whether to add extra private health insurance cover to your plan involves assessing your personal, family, and financial circumstances. These add-ons can significantly enhance your peace of mind and provide targeted protection where you need it most, but can also just be an extra expense you don't need if you don't choose wisely. Here are some considerations to help determine if extra cover is right for you:

Assess Your Health Needs

Consider your current health status and any ongoing treatments you may need. If you have chronic conditions or anticipate requiring specific treatments that aren't fully covered under a standard policy, additional cover can be beneficial. For instance, if you have a history of dental issues or anticipate needing orthodontic work, opting for dental cover could save you significant expenses in the long run.

Evaluate Family Health History

If your family history suggests a higher risk of certain conditions like cancer or heart disease, getting extended cover for these areas might be a wise precaution. Extended cancer cover, for example, could give you access to a wider range of treatments and experimental drugs that are not typically covered.

Consider Lifestyle Factors

Your lifestyle choices and activities can also influence whether additional cover is necessary. For those who travel frequently, integrating travel insurance is essential to ensure that you're covered for any medical emergencies abroad. Similarly, if alternative therapies play a significant role in your health regimen, securing cover for these treatments would provide benefits aligned with your lifestyle.

Financial Planning

Review your financial situation to determine if you can afford the additional health insurance premiums. While extra cover does increase your premiums, it also provides broader protection and can prevent significant out-of-pocket expenses for uncovered treatments in the future. Weigh the potential costs of treatments against the higher premiums to make a cost-effective decision.

Review Existing Cover

Thoroughly examine what your current health plan already covers and identify any significant gaps that need filling. Sometimes, the basic cover might be sufficient for your needs, and extra insurance may not provide significant additional benefits.

Discover Private Healthcare that Works for Your Needs

Choosing the right private healthcare cover is about finding the balance that suits your personal and financial needs. By understanding the different types of primary and extra health insurance available, you can effectively customise a plan that provides the cover you need without paying for unnecessary extras.

Consider your current health, potential future needs, and the likelihood of requiring specific treatments. Also, think about the peace of mind that comes from having comprehensive cover. Carefully comparing plans and considering the addition of extra cover can ensure you are adequately protected while keeping costs manageable. Ultimately, the goal is to invest in a healthcare plan that aligns with your health priorities and ensures you are supported wherever and whenever you need it.