How to get long-term care for seniors over 60?


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Ageing is a gift - but going through the ageing process also means that you’re more likely to experience illness or disease, especially as you get into your 60s, 70s, and 80s. While preventative care, healthy habits and an active lifestyle can help combat the effects of ageing on the body, having access to high-quality medical care is also incredibly important for those over the age of 60.

And while the NHS remains a beloved institution in the UK, reports from both age-related charities and government bodies alike show that the NHS is failing its older patients, and struggling to keep up with their unique needs. Data from Age UK showed that the percentage of older people who felt “supported to manage their health condition” has fallen by almost 20% in relative terms since 2017.

So, how can you get long-term care if you’re over 60? In the following blog, we’re going to take a look at the benefits of private medical coverage for those over 60, and why it can be beneficial for your health - as well as your wallet - to get yourself insured. Let’s take a look! 

What is over 60s health insurance?

Health insurance for those over 60 is a form of private medical coverage that provides you with care in the event that you fall ill or experience a non life-threatening injury. In general, a standard health insurance plan for someone over 60 includes the following:

  • Full inpatient care (treatment in hospital, overnight stays, etc.)
  • Some outpatient care (diagnostics, x-rays, scans, etc.)
  • Digital GP services
  • Cancer cover

If you opt for a more comprehensive healthcare policy, you may also be able to get access to services such as dental care, optical care and mental health support - although do note that the exact inclusions available on your policy will depend on the insurance provider that you choose. If you’re unsure which plan or provider would suit you best, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our advisers at Usay Compare - we’re always happy to offer guidance, compare providers, and help you make the most informed choice possible.

Why is long-term care important for those over 60?

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, age is a leading cause of disease and illness in the UK; according to the World Health Organisation, conditions such as hearing loss, back pain, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are all age-related diseases, and can all significantly impact quality of life if not given the proper treatment and support. 

Plus, age is often associated with compounding morbities; reports by Public Health England show that older individuals are much more likely to have two or more chronic conditions at the same time, which is why having access to high-quality care and support is essential. 

It’s also important to note that the UK has an ageing population: reports from Age UK show that 3.3 million older people now live alone in the UK, meaning that it’s more important than ever for seniors to be able to be independent, healthy, and autonomous - things that aren’t always possible if health conditions or illnesses aren’t treated promptly. 

And when it comes to quality care, figures from the UK government and the health service ombudsman have also consistently shown that the NHS has been failing its older patients for over a decade; even back in 2011, 18% of the 9,000 complaints made to the Health Service Ombudsman were about the care of older people in NHS facilities. While efforts have been made to rectify this problem with more thorough internal training, the NHS is still the busiest it has ever been, while also facing a chronic lack of funding.

What are the benefits of health insurance for seniors?

So, why opt for private medical insurance? Here are just a few benefits for those over 60:

Reduced waiting times

One of the most significant benefits of private health insurance for older people in the UK is the reduction in waiting times for treatments and procedures. The NHS, while doing its best with limited resources, often experiences long waiting lists for simple procedures, which may lead to delays in receiving the necessary care. With private health insurance, seniors can have prompt access to medical services, ensuring they receive timely treatment for age-related issues, or acute illnesses. This can be particularly important for older individuals, as early intervention can significantly impact their quality of life and overall health outcomes. 


Do note that while ambulance waiting times are another problem currently facing the NHS, private medical coverage should be considered a supplement to NHS care, rather than a replacement for it. If you’re dealing with a health emergency or life-threatening injury, you’ll still need to call 999 or head to your closest A&E department, as private insurance doesn’t cover emergency care.

Cancer cover

Most private health insurance providers will offer comprehensive cancer cover as a staple policy for all ages, and this can provide access to cutting-edge treatments, consultations with specialists, and potentially quicker access to those all-important diagnostic tests. As cancer is more prevalent in older individuals, having this additional support can be particularly beneficial - especially as cancer is a time-sensitive disease, and the NHS is still struggling to meet its cancer waiting time targets. 

Reduced private costs

With waiting times on the NHS still longer than average, many over 60 in the UK are now opting to undergo treatments and consultations in private facilities. However, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that of the 13% of UK residents who opted for private healthcare in 2021, only 5% used private insurance, with 7% paying for their treatment upfront. Paying for private medical care upfront can be incredibly costly - consultations themselves alone can cost anywhere from £150 to £200, while the cost of basic treatments can mount into the thousands. With a private healthcare policy, you can drastically reduce these costs while still getting access to the same high standard of care. 

The bottom line

Overall, private medical insurance can have a significant, positive impact when it comes to those over 60 navigating the ageing process. Not only does private medical coverage offer peace of mind against serious diagnoses, but it can also help those over 60 maintain autonomy in their personal lives. From digital GP services to prescription delivery services offered by some insurance providers, a private healthcare plan can make the ageing process simpler, easier, and less impactful on your day-to-day life.

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