Archive for Health Insurance

Critical Illness Insurance Cover – Don’t Leave It Until Its Too Late!

Long term chronic or terminal illness is one of those risks than could afflict us all. It’s really an essential part of health insurance that is often overlooked or not covered, yet if it strikes critical illnesses are the most devastating to you and your family.

With this grim prospect in mind Insurance Blog gets you up to speed on this most essential of modern covers.

Understanding critical illness insurance

Critical illness is, by its very nature, no laughing matter. It might be advisable, therefore, to take critical illness insurance just as seriously.

What is critical illness insurance?

This cover is a form of protection that seeks to provide you with a lump sum payment should you be diagnosed with what is described by the policy as a critical illness.

Such a payment may come in very useful, as one of the consequences arising from a critical illness may be financial disruption to your normal routine. For example, you may not only lose your income (or find it significantly reduced) but at the same time, also find that you’re incurring additional costs for things such as medical aids or home help etc.

The very last thing anyone needs when they’re critically ill, is cause to start worrying about things such as bills and income.

That is why critical illness insurance exists.

What conditions are covered?

You will only be able to know this for sure, by looking at the detail contained within an individual policy or site (one such example may be found at criticalillnessinsurance.com).

As a general principle, a wide range of conditions may be covered including many of the major life-threatening conditions.

Remember though that the conditions covered may vary significantly between policies and providers – it may be advisable to look closely at the conditions covered to ensure that you’re happy that you have the cover you feel you need.

What about existing medical conditions?

Individual insurance providers may have different positions in this respect, however, typically they will exclude pre-existing conditions (or attach special conditions to them).

It is extremely important that any such conditions are openly and explicitly declared at the time you take out your policy or it may prejudice a future claim.

How many times will the policy pay out?

Typically once. This insurance is intended to cover a one-off diagnosis.

There is a form of cover called serious illness insurance that may pay out several times for different multiple conditions when diagnosed. Once again, sites such as criticalillnessinsurance.com may prove to be useful in outlining the differences.

Is such insurance cost-effective?

Both the cover provided and the prices of policies, will vary.

A sensible selection process would involve balancing the two against your requirements, however, in the case of any insurance, it may be difficult to define what cost-effective actually means.

You may sincerely hope that you never need to call upon your critical illness insurance but knowing it is there, may be prove to be priceless for your peace of mind.

There’s a lot more to Health Insurance than just Medical Costs!

So what’s left for the IFA’s to sell us then?

Mortgages – only if you’ve got 30% to put down!

Life Insurance – people are only looking to downsize covers!

Loans? You’ll be lucky!

PPI a product that should be selling well during the current economic times, is dead in the water due to bad publicity and PPI Claims farmers.

Health Insurance?

Hmm Maybe?

Health Insurance is in the limelight at the moment thanks to a bunch of redneck yanks using the NHS as an example of everything that is wrong with the State interfering with healthcare.
However, like it or not we will soon see a swing to the right in UK Government and with this will inevitably come cutbacks in State funded healthcare.
Many savvy Health Insurance compamies are well aware of this window of opportunity for selling ‘new’ health insurance products – expect to see ads on the TV very soon!

However as pointed out in a recent ezine article there is a lot more to wholistic personal insurance protection than just medical expenses cover…..

Five Ways to Protect Your Health and Wealth With Insurance Against Sickness

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an illness, sickness or an accident at any time in your life, the consequences can be far reaching and affect your lifestyle and family for perhaps months or years into the future. Primarily you will require immediate treatment and care for the accident or illness. You will also need to consider how to meet your financial commitments during a period of hospitalisation and recovery. Furthermore it is wise to be recompensed for the unfortunate loss of bodily functions or if your contract a chronic or life critical illness.

Five ways to protect yourself and your family against sickness with Insurance:

1. Protect your personal health with Private Medical Insurance

Medical or Health Insurance is often called Private Health Insurance, Private Medical Insurance or PMI in the UK. This type of cover provides quicker access to specialist consultants, hospital treatment and rehabilitation services, and is designed to cover the costs of and arrange remedies for treatable short term or acute accident or sickness. It is however often restricted to hospitals owned by the particular insurance group. PMI is primarily bought to receive quicker treatment in nicer surroundings than is offered by the state system. Many policies allow you to top up cover should you require additional treatment. Levels of indemnity or cover limits are quite often determined by the price you pay as a premium. Policies are often sold with varying levels of cover under banners such as Silver, Gold and Platinum cover, and covers are extendable to other members of the immediate family.

Many UK employers provide what is known as Group Health Insurance plans as health care and medical cover for their employees, however this practice has declined since this became a taxable benefit. It is important to note that nearly all of these types of medical insurance policies exclude pre-existing conditions and are designed for treatable conditions only.

2. Protect your body with Personal Accident Insurance Cover

Personal Accident Insurance or PAI as it is known covers the loss of various body parts and pays out a lump sum designed to help ease your immediate suffering. Each limb or organ is priced and if you are unfortunate enough to lose for example an eye, you will receive the commensurate agreed benefit amount for the loss of the eye. Many policies also pay out a lump sum on death.

3. Protect your lifestyle and wealth with Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance

Often known as ASU, these products provide a lump sum of money each month if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or be sick, whether hospitalised or not, allowing various expenses and costs of your life style to be protected while you are ill and recovering. These include income protection for your earnings, mortgage and loan protection for your debts and monthly outgoings and the more encompassing lifestyle insurance to protect all your finances, when you are sick. These type of policies pay out an agreed monthly benefit commensurate with the amount of cover required.

4. Protect your future with Critical Illness Insurance

Basic medical insurance is designed to cover short term illness only. Critical Illness or dreaded disease polices are a recent innovation in the UK Health Insurance market, having originated in South Africa. You are covered under this type of policy if you are struck by one of a number of specified diseases, many of which are terminal and for that reason critical illness insurance is often sold as a bolt on cover with a life insurance policy. Examples of the types of critical illness covered are Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, to name but a few.In the event of a claim, as with personal accident and sickness cover, you will receive a lump sum to help with the costs of the illness. When sold as part of a life policy the lump sum payable on death is often reduced if there has been an earlier critical illness claim.

5. Protect your family with a hospital bed with Health Cash plans

Health cash plans where you make regular payments into a specific medical fund which entitles you to claim if the need occurs. These cash plans have been available for some time in the UK and have been particularly popular in the areas of optometry and dentistry which are mainly privately funded outside of the NHS. Recent innovative more affordable health insurance hospital cash plans are becoming very popular, mainly because they allow access to all the hospital services that are available under a standard medical insurance policy except that you are not tied to one hospital provider of medical supplier to provide that service.

As with all Insurance products it is now very straightforward to shop around and compare prices on the Internet. Each individual will have varying cover needs and it is important to compare insurance covers as well as premium prices. It is very important with all health and personal protection insurance policies to read the small print and online documents to be sure that you understand the exclusions to each particular health care coverage.

For more information and advice on all aspects of medical insurance visit UK Health Insurance.

Health Insurance and Care Abroad – Get Travel Medical Insurance!

Reading a blog post today from my Health Insurance Blog Blogger friend, got me thinking…
“You don’t know how lucky you are” My parents used to say to me about going to places on exotic holidays…
Their parents would have likely said the same thing to them about the National Health Service – as kids they would have remembered their parents having to pay for the doctor on an ad hoc basis!

You never miss it until it’s gone, or more importantly you don’t notice it until you have to pay for it, and in the case of medical and health insurance at this holiday time of the year, it’s yet another necessary cost of holidaying abroad.

Watching the news and the debate going on in the States about the health care reforms proposed by the President, that are being made out by the Media to be dividing the Nation….you can’t help but laugh when you read that the right wingers are using the NHS system as an example of everything that could go wrong with a nationalised healthcare insurance scheme.
I can’t wait to see Barack Obama’s camp stand up and defend the NHS as the example of a health care system that all countries should be following!

Here’s some thoughts from the Health Insurance Blog

Barack Obama is the Good Samaritan for US Health Care

Most of us are used to some type of >health insurance in the the UK despite the existence of the ubiquitous free for all NHS.

In fact most UK citizens have purchased private medical insurance at some time or another!

Yep! surprising isn’t it! But because we all travel we are probably as well versed in the vagaries of the medical insurance section of our travel insurance policies as we are with our compulsory car insurance!

Since the 1970′s Brits have regularly bought medical insurance for their two week jaunt to the Costa del Sol and very many have had to claim and seen the workings of a foreign privatised health care system in action.

It is only then that we see the true worth of our NHS, when we have to participate in the bureaucracy of a claim when sick. We also get to see the standards of foreign care at the coal face!
Still, the good news about those sorts of health insurance covers found on a travel policy is that they will always repatriate you to good old Blighty and the awaiting NHS.

Most Brits like to visit our cousins in the United States.
This is when we come face to face with the fact that health care is not homogenous, especially when it comes to availability and more importantly – price!
Those travel insurance insurance policies suddenly treble in premium and all those exclusions to cover such as pre-existing medical conditions suddenly become real concerns….the same sort of concerns that face the average American daily!

Even with Insurance – you don’t wan’t to get ill in America. You especially don’t want to get ill for a chronic amount of time – all health insurance policies have strict limits of liability!
What if the money runs out?

In the Land of the Free there is no human safety net! (if you can’t pay)

Charles Darwin would have loved it!

Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?

From the right wing noises of middle American rabble rousing grannies shouting on about abortions and illegal immigrants that we see every night on CBS and ABC news ….. I don’t think so! Try Luke!

Well you all go to church on Sunday dressed up in you finery, or is that just Hollywood agitprop to satisfy the lunatics of the Bible belt?

So step forward Barack Obama, determined to bring some social justice to the cities and peoples of America. The Good Samaritan who refused to walk on by on the issue of Health Care.

From the looks on the faces of those church going grannies and their militia sons who are dressed up for Afghanistan, and their kids dressed up like neo cons from The Matrix…..I just hope you’re wearing extra strong Kevlar Barack, because in some parts of your divided nation that’s the only healthcare you will need!

UK Health Insurance- From the Cradle to the Queue

Health and Wealth! Isn’t that what everyone drinks to?
A look at UK Health Insurance and National Wealth.

Britain was still reeling from World War Two when the National Health Service was launched in 1948, sweeping in an era of social change and expectation.
Gone were the days of ‘bring out your dead’ if you couldn’t afford to pay.
Despite many changes over the sixty one years and its recent flirtations with Private Health Insurance companies, the so called postcode lottery system and other structural difficulties, the NHS has remained true to the ethos of access for all.
No system is perfect and spatial differences in levels of access and quality of care still need to be radically addressed.

In the UK when the National Health Service was finally implemented in 1948 as part of Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s ‘cradle to the grave’ welfare state.
A nationwide system of free healthcare was finally launched by Aneurin Bevan the then Minister of Health, which promised us access to health care cover and treatment for all.
The cradle to the grave speech mentality had set the standards for social healthcare and access to treatment for all.
To date, despite its recent structural changes, and despite the healthy criticism and debate that the subject of the NHS always brings, if you look at the system in performance and social cohesion you have to say that it appears to work much better as a form of national health insurance than do comparative systems in so called developed countries. This development in healthcare is always a subject of great debate in the lead up to a General Election, and no doubt will take greater stage in the months to come

Everyone working in the UK has to pay National Insurance contributions as part of their income in order for the system to work, and facilitating everyone in the UK with medical cover.
However National Insurance contributions are not a good solution for a number of reasons.
They increase the costs of labour.
By definition this makes them inflationary.
The costs of production are passed onto the populace en masse
The contributions are by no means equitable
Many sections of the population are able to virtually opt out of the contribution system
The NHS is heavily subsided by the tax contributions of the healthy and wealthy forty percent plus payers.

Whether the United States Government is able to take what could be seen as a major left shift to achieve better social cohesion and consequently improved GDP, remains to be seen.
Are the workers prepared to subsidize the shirkers and the misfortunate? There needs to exist a situation both economically, socially and mentality, of desperation and hope that existed in the UK in 1945, in order to see a fiscal response to the current situation, biting the healthcare bullet that the USA is so afraid to bite. Providing the ultimate National Safety Net!

The States is in the difficult situation of how to deal with chronic sickness, the recession, the role of PMI as an underwriter of GDP and the political influence and lobbying power of the large Health Insurance companies. Rather you than me Barrack!

Gordon Brown should note that Private Health Insurance became one of the first things people were encouraged to buy when her who’s name shall not be spoken came to power in 1979.

Accident and Sickness Insurance for the Self Employed

Accident and Sickness Insurance For the Self Employed

If you are just starting out in business or have been self employed for some time you should consider protecting not just yourself, but also your home and family against the possibility of you having an accident at work or home, or perhaps getting sick for a long time and not being able to work.

Both of these risks happen every day to someone unfortunate and it would be a brave person to jeopardise their home and business when accident and sickness insurance is widely available online to purchase in an instant cover that has been specifically designed for the self employed, and would remove all those worries.

Accident insurance is always sold as a policy in conjunction with Sickness insurance. This can usually be purchased individually as what is known as a disability cover or bundled up in a group of insurance products usually known as ASU (Accident, Sickness and Unemployment) or as Protection Insurance, commonly known as PPI.

When you purchase accident and sickness cover, you purchase levels of protection as units of what is known as monthly benefit. So for example if you need 1000 units of monthly cover you pay by the percentage rate cover unit determined by how old you are.

Typically a thirty year old in the UK who buys disability insurance from a well known independent supplier, will pay as little as GBP18 per month for GBP1000 worth of benefits, should they get sick or have an accident, leading to missing time off work.

ASU can be particularly cheap for self-employed persons if bought without the unemployment element of cover, which has significantly increased the cost of this type of cover in the near past due to the economic crisis.

Working for yourself is hard enough work alone, without having to worry about where the money is going to come from to pay the bills if you have to stop your business dealings for any time due to an accident or sickness.
Protection Insurance products such as mortgage, lifestyle and income protection, all offer peace of mind and cover for anyone who works for themselves or as a contractor, and is not covered by any existing employer accident compensation.

Be aware that any long term pre-existing medical condition usually excludes you from purchasing Payment Protection Insurance or Sickness Insurance cover.

Shop around the independent providers of ASU for accident insurance, as there are always good deals to be had in this very competitive market Sickness Insurance and Accident Insurance for the self-employed can be purchased quickly online from leading UK companies.