Taking out a health insurance premium can appear as a minefield to anyone who’s just started looking for a policy. This is down to the amount of different offers out there. It can take some serious head-scratching to work out the best deal, not to mention a good slab of time with the calculator. Here we’ll address everything you need to know about health insurance premiums.
- What is a Health Insurance Premium?
- How Different Premiums Work
- Premium-Deciding Factors
- Tips on Finding the Cheapest Premium
What is a Health Insurance Premium?
A health insurance premium is the cost you pay to your provider for insuring you against accidents or poor health. This is usually billed via a monthly subscription or a one-off fee. However, there’s a variety of different contracts available. This is because insurers look to compete on price points and snag new customers through special offers.
How Different Premiums Work
Health insurance premiums tend to reflect the level of coverage given in a particular deal. Smaller premiums tend to come with lower level of cover than expensive policies. Premiums are also relevant to the country or continent they’re purchased in. This is because health systems can differ widely worldwide.
For example, the average health insurance premium bought in the UK will generally be less than one purchased in the US. This is at least partly because the UK has statutory healthcare. This means that many services don’t need to be paid for.
The US has no such NHS, so any level of healthcare cover must be covered in advance by an insurance policy. As a result, 92.1%, Americans had a health insurance plan at some point in 2022, compared to just 22% of those living in the UK.
There’s a multitude of factors which insurers will take into account when it comes to giving you a quote. As with all forms of insurance, there’s no one-size-fits-all policy. Consumers should shop around to find the deal that best meets their needs.
- Where You Live
As stated earlier, the country you live in will contribute to the level of premium you need to pay. In addition to the UK/US comparison above, you’ll likely find higher premiums in countries with higher living costs.
A person who spends 12 months of the year in the same country will likely pay a smaller premium than someone who works abroad for six months. Travel comes with greater risk, and policies must cover insurance across multiple countries, which may all have different expenses. Take a look at our article on Global Health Insurance for more information.
- Age & Health
Younger people tend to have fewer health complications than older persons. This is taken into consideration by insurers when calculating a premium quote. Those on regular medication or people who live an unhealthy lifestyle will often have to pay more for their policy. Some insurers will also have a maximum age range, whereas others will not.
A person whose hobbies include reading and television is less likely to be injured pursuing their interests than someone who likes kite surfing, rock climbing, or free running. Those who partake in potentially dangerous activities may still be able to insure their health. However, they’ll likely have to pay more for any policy.
Similarly to hobby choice, some jobs are riskier than others. Those performing sit-down jobs will likely pay less for a premium than someone working physically.
For a wider look at the benefits of taking out a policy, see our post on What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Tips on Finding the Cheapest Premium
No one wants to pay more for a deal than they have to. Even if you’re a mature customer, taking regular medication and working in a dangerous job, you can save by taking the right approach.
- Work Out the Cover You Need
Before you even begin talking to insurance companies, note your personal circumstances regarding health. You should consider your work, hobbies, and the places you’re set to visit over the next 12 months. With all this firmly in mind, you can search for a premium that fits your situation. You also won’t be paying for cover you don’t need.
- Shop Around
Just five minutes of searching online will quickly demonstrate how competitive the health insurance market is, and with this comes a wide variety of pricing. Find policies that meet your needs, then compare the related premiums for the best deal possible.
- Buy Early
Younger people often have the advantage of paying less for their premiums, but sorting a deal early can also reduce the costs of health insurance. You may be able to find discounts or special offers from companies if customers sign up well in advance of their policy starting date.
- Live Healthily
Although most ailments can affect us, humans are not down to our lifestyle choices; some undoubtedly are. The likes of drinking alcohol, smoking, and eating junk food regularly can often cause health problems further down the line. This may even affect the cost of the first premium you sign up for.
- Review Year-on-Year
The state of your health may change over 12 months. You may also gain dependents, switch jobs, travel less, or take up different hobbies. It’s always worth reviewing your needs as you end any contract and looking for a deal that better reflects your present lifestyle.
Insurance can appear complex, but with the right knowledge in mind, anyone can find a deal that works for their needs and lifestyle. Start by taking stock of your health situation, working pattern, and lifestyle choices. Then, you’ll be on the right path to finding a health insurance premium that won’t leave you out-of-pocket.
Begin your own search for the right plan by looking through our clear and transparent benefits on our health insurance page.
GasanMamo Insurance is authorised under the Insurance Business Act and regulated by the MFSA.