How does getting married affect health insurance?


Getting married is a significant lifetime milestone - so congratulations if you’re a beaming newlywed or about to tie the knot! But did you know that getting married can change how you qualify for certain health insurance plans? In the following blog, we’re going to explain how getting married in the UK can affect your private health insurance, and take a look at whether or not couple’s health insurance - also known as family health insurance - is right for you.

What is health insurance?

Before we get started, what actually is health insurance? While we might consider health insurance to be an American concept, private health insurance has existed in the UK since 1947, when Bupa was launched as a private health insurance provider. While all UK residents do have access to free healthcare via the National Health Service (NHS), health insurance can be incredibly useful when it comes to getting prompt, high-quality care in some of the best hospitals in the UK. 

So, how does health insurance in the UK work? It’s simple: you pay a monthly premium to the insurance provider of your choosing - such as Vitality, Bupa, or Aviva - and in return, you’ll receive private medical coverage in the event that you fall ill unexpectedly or become injured (non-emergency injuries only.) Do note that health insurance plans will vary from provider to provider, so it’s important to do your research - or get help from a broker like Usay Compare - before deciding on a plan that works best for you.

Do also keep in mind that private health insurance is designed to work as a supplement to the NHS, not as a replacement; in the event of emergencies or life-threatening injuries, you’ll still need to call 999 or head to your local A&E.

Understanding different types of health insurance

It’s important to note that there are typically two types of health insurance plans available in the UK: individual healthcare plans or a family health insurance plan. On an individual plan, you’ll benefit from health coverage more directly catered to your needs, whereas a family healthcare plan will usually offer basic or standard coverage to a couple and any children living in the same household. Again, this is general advice, and you’ll always want to double-check the terms and conditions of each provider’s family policies.

Will getting married affect my health insurance?

In general, getting married doesn’t mean that you have to change your healthcare plan if you don’t want to. For example, if you’ve managed to get coverage for a pre-existing condition on your healthcare policy, you might prefer to stay on your current plan. That being said, it is often possible to transfer an underwriting, and with the help of a broker like Usay Compare, you may be able to cover both you and your spouse without losing essential coverage - and actually end up saving on the cost of your monthly premium.

Similarly, your new spouse won’t need to automatically switch to your healthcare plan or provider once you’re married - you can still keep individual healthcare plans if you wish to.

However, being married does mean that you qualify for couple’s insurance and family health insurance, both of which can work out more cost-effective in the long run. 

What is family health insurance?

In the UK, getting family health insurance means that you can cover your family members on the same insurance plan, and each person on the plan will have access to the same level of coverage. 

Generally, most providers will only allow couples and their children to be included on the same policy - this means that adult siblings, parents, grandparents, and other extended family members won’t be covered, and the couple in question will usually need to live at the same address. Some insurers will also impose other terms and conditions - for example, some providers will stipulate that children can only stay on their parent’s plan until they’re 18, while other providers will continue to cover them if they’re in full-time higher education and not earning.

What are the benefits of family health insurance?

So, why opt for family health insurance instead of keeping two individual policies for each spouse? While combining your cover under one policy might not be for everyone, here are just some benefits of doing so.

Reduced premiums

When you combine your health coverage with your spouse, you’ll generally end up paying less for your premium on average - provided that you and your partner split the cost evenly. For example, you’ll can even 5% on your health insurance costs when you opt for a joint policy over an individual plan with Bupa.

Child cover

If you’re planning on having children in the near future, a family health insurance policy will also give your little ones access to the best care and treatment in the UK. Some policies will also offer perks for families, such as parental accommodation if your child ever needs to spend the night in hospital. Some insurers will also cover pregnancy complications, although general prenatal and postnatal care isn’t covered, and will be carried out on the NHS.

Is family health insurance right for me?

Whether or not a family insurance policy is right for you will depend on a number of factors. For example, as we mentioned above, if you’ve been able to get cover for a pre-existing condition on a private health insurance plan (which is difficult) you may risk losing this coverage if you switch providers. 

On the other hand, if neither you nor your spouse are experiencing any ongoing health conditions - and you’re planning on having children in the near future - a family health insurance policy can be a great way to cut costs while ensuring your family has access to the best care.

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