Are you thinking of purchasing health insurance for your family? Private health insurance for families can provide significant advantages and also for couples who will be starting families soon. If you’re thinking of purchasing health insurance for your family in the near future, consider the following 8 tips on choosing health insurance for families, that will best suit your needs.
Sign up for our free Newsletter stuffed full of ideas, competitions and offers. PS Did we mention it’s free?
These 8 tips on choosing health insurance for families can not only help you pick the best health insurance for your family’s needs. They’re also likely to help you save money on your family health insurance.
#1. Be Aware of New Customer Waiting Periods
Waiting periods for you to make a claim are the first thing you need to be aware of when you sign up for a new health insurance plan. Or indeed when you upgrade your current plan to include a greater number of benefits. The waiting periods for different benefits could vary by plan and provider, so take these into account when you choose which plan to enrol in. Do be aware that each country sets national standards for waiting periods that health insurance providers cannot legally exceed.
Waiting periods are of particular importance to couples who want to have children. The typical new customer waiting period for maternity care here in Ireland is 52 weeks. This time may vary in other countries. Be sure to plan for that; if you’ll be wanting semi-private or private care when the time comes for you to have a baby, be sure to enrol in your desired healthcare plan at least 52 weeks ahead of time.
#2. Take Advantage Of Kids’ Offers
Health insurance providers sometimes make kids’ offers available. They may for example have a free kids’ offer that allows you to pay for one child’s health insurance, and you also get free cover for additional children.
#3. It’s OK to Split Your Family’s Cover
The chances are good that your family members do not all need equal amounts of cover. You might have one family member who has a condition and requires more cover than other family members.
Perhaps someone in your family has health care needs warranting a health insurance scheme that would provide cover in a high-tech private hospital. But be aware that some private hospitals do not typically treat very young children. So it would be a mistake to pay for the same cover for your toddler that your older family member requires.
Talk to the health insurance providers you’re considering about the possibility of subscribing your family members to different plans yet including them all on the same policy.
#4. Ask for the Young Adult Rate if Appropriate
Young, healthy people generally make far fewer health insurance claims than older people. If there are youthful adults between the ages of 18-25 in your household, your family should not be paying the full adult rate to insure them. Discount rates are available for people in this age group, including both students and those in employment.
#5. Consider Accepting Excesses to Lower Your Upfront Premiums
Are your family members generally healthy? If so, it may be smart to accept some excesses in your health insurance scheme covering private hospital inpatient care.
Excesses result in lower upfront premiums; but, the tradeoff is that, in the event that emergency care is needed, you’ll have to pay for some of the necessary care directly out of your own pocket. However, excesses typically apply only when admission to a private hospital is needed but check before you decide.
#6. Remember That Everyone Is Eligible for All Plans
Health insurance providers in Ireland are legally required to make all their plans available to everyone, according to the Health Insurance Authority (HIA). So, even if you are not part of a corporation, you are free to enrol in one of their corporate plans which may offer better value for money. Keep this in mind as you comparison shop for a plan that would best meet your needs. Sometimes the best health insurance deals are, indeed, available through corporate plans or plans marketed specifically at professional groups.
In countries outside of Ireland, this may not hold true. For example, in Australia, health insurance providers are able to legally provide plans that are restricted to certain groups such as employees who work in a particular organisation or occupation. If that’s the case in your country, you’d need to search across plans that are relevant to your occupation and organisation as well as the open membership funds to find the best health insurance plan for your family.
#7. Comparison Shop for Insurance Using Comparison Tools
The HIA website in Ireland includes a useful comparison tool. This tool simplifies the process of comparing the hundreds of health insurance plans that are currently available.
#8. Call for Clarification
Often, the best way to find a health insurance provider’s most cost-effective plans is to call them and ask extremely specific questions. Recordings are made of calls to health insurance providers, so they have to take great care in answering your questions truthfully.
Over to you now. Have these tips helped you choose health insurance for your family? Or maybe you have a tip of your own? Please let us know in the comments box below.