How does having a spouse impact a senior's health insurance options?

01/09/2023

The question of health insurance becomes more pressing as we age, and being well-prepared for any medical contingencies should be a concern for those over 60. In the UK, while the National Health Service (NHS) provides free medical care, many seniors choose to supplement this with private health insurance. But how does having a spouse impact a senior’s health insurance options? In the following blog, we’re going to take a look at what private health insurance is, its benefits for seniors, and how having a spouse can impact your options. Let’s get started!

What is private health insurance?

Private health insurance is a personal insurance policy that individuals pay for to cover costs not catered for by the NHS. It can cover a wide range of medical treatments and conditions, and often includes faster access to treatments, private hospital rooms, and specialist referrals.

The premiums for these policies are calculated based on several factors, including the age of the policyholder, their health history, lifestyle, and the level of coverage they choose. As a person ages, their risk of health issues tends to increase, which results in higher premiums. For this reason, health insurance for individuals aged over 60 does tend to be slightly more expensive than premiums paid by those under 50 - however, with the help of a broker like Usay Compare, we can help you find a policy that works for both your healthcare needs and budget.

Benefits of private health insurance for seniors

So, why opt for private health insurance? As a senior, you’ll have access to a wide range of benefits, including the following:

Faster access to medical treatments

One of the main advantages of private health insurance is faster access to medical treatments. With the NHS, waiting times can be lengthy, and this can be problematic for seniors who may need non-emergency care. Having private health insurance can help ensure that you receive the necessary medical attention promptly, reducing the risk of conditions worsening due to delayed treatment.

Access to a broader range of treatments and specialists

Private health insurance often provides access to a wider range of treatments and specialists that may not be readily available on the NHS. This can be beneficial for seniors who have specific or complex health conditions, as they can receive care from specialists in the field, leading to potentially better health outcomes.

Comfort during hospital stays

Hospital stays can be a stressful experience, especially for the elderly population: a 2011 investigation into the NHS by the Health Service Ombudsman even found that the NHS was systematically failing to meet the needs of elderly patients within their facilities. As private health insurance often covers the cost of private rooms, this can provide a more comfortable and peaceful environment during recovery. Private rooms can also reduce exposure to hospital-acquired infections, a significant concern for older individuals.

Mental health support

Mental health is just as important as physical health, especially as we age. Many private health insurance policies offer an option to add on paid mental health support, giving you access to therapists and counsellors that can help manage conditions like anxiety, depression, and age-related loneliness. Some insurers even offer access to app and phone support, such as Bupa, who are partnered with organisations like BITC, CMHA, Mind, and What Works Centre for Wellbeing. A holistic approach to health is crucial for maintaining overall wellbeing in later life, and can even help improve your physical health.

Does having a spouse impact health insurance?

Having a spouse can impact your health insurance options, as many insurance providers offer joint policies which can be a more cost-effective option compared to two separate policies. These joint policies cover both individuals, providing the same benefits and making the management of the insurance plan easier.

However, it's essential to note that each member on the policy will have their own cost to the premium - a joint plan won’t combine the costs, although some insurers will offer a discount for 2 people on the same policy. 

Furthermore, while a joint policy often means obtaining several benefits as a couple, you’ll still have a per-person limit on your policy - so you won’t need to worry about limiting one another’s level of cover. 

Therefore, while joint policies can offer financial and administrative advantages, it's crucial to evaluate your individual health needs and circumstances before deciding on a shared plan. If you’re unsure whether or not a joint policy is best for your needs, seeking advice from an insurance broker like Usay Compare can help you make an informed decision.

The bottom line

In conclusion, while the NHS provides comprehensive healthcare services, private health insurance can offer additional benefits for those over 60, and can offer that all-important peace of mind when it comes to navigating the ageing process. Whether you're single or have a spouse, understanding your health insurance options is vital to ensuring you have the coverage you need as you age - reach out to us at Usay Compare if you’d like impartial advice, guidance, and help choosing the plan that works best for you.

 

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