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What does private medical insurance cost?
Find out about how your personal circumstances and cover options affect the cost of private medical insurance and see some examples of typical costs.
It’s impossible to provide a single answer to the cost of private medical insurance, as prices will vary according to a wide range of factors, including your personal details, your choice of cover level and even where you live.
The the cost of your private medical insurance will very much depend on your personal circumstances, and will take into account factors such as:
- your age the same policy with The AA costs 26 per month at age 30 and 62 per month at age 60, an increase of 138%.
- smoking the same basic policy with Simply Health costs 15 per month for a non-smoker and 19.50 per month for a smoker, an increase of 30%.
- your weight being very overweight or clinically obese increases the risk of a range of medical conditions so premiums are higher.
- your postcode some areas, such as industrial cities in the north, have higher health risks.
- your lifestyle inactivity, alcohol intake and other lifestyle factors pose serious risks to your health.
- your previous medical history.
- your family’s medical history.
All of these factors will affect the level of risk that the provider is exposed to; that is how likely they are to have to pay out. To complicate things further, different insurers will place different weightings on each of these factors.
Cover options for private medical insurance
The cost of your private medical insurance will also depend on the level of cover that you take out.
This ranges from budget cover, which only covers set conditions or procedures, to comprehensive cover, which takes care of every stage from your initial consultation to your aftercare. A basic AA policy with no outpatient cover costs 62 for a 60 year old, but almost doubles to 113 per month if you include full outpatient cover.
You can also agree to limit your choice of hospitals and clinics, or limit yourself to only receive private treatment if the NHS cannot provide treatment within a set period of time. Agreeing to a six week wait with The AA will cut the 62 per month policy down to just 39.
Another cover option that will affect the cost of your private medical insurance is the level of excess you agree to. Paying the first 100, 250 or 500 can significantly reduce your monthly premiums. The same 62 per month AA policy is just 55 with a 250 excess (saving 12%) and 48 with a 500 excess (saving 23%).
As you can see from the above, with so many different variables, it is difficult to provide an ‘average’ price for private medical insurance. BUPA claims online that it can provide cover from as little as 2 per week, but presumably this is the lowest price for the fittest, youngest applicants, and the average person will pay more. Moneysavingexpert.com say that they can find cover from 7.50 per month, but once again, this will be the cheapest price and may not apply to you.
Someone in their thirties who does not smoke can expect to pay between 50 and 80 per month for a good level of cover. The cheapest price quoted on one online comparison site is around 15 per month for basic cover from Simply Health, with the maximum price of 86 per month for the most comprehensive cover from Aviva.
Shop around and choose carefully
At the end of the day, there is simply no average person, so there is no average price, and so you should shop around to see the range of prices available for you and your unique circumstances and requirements.