It can be a shock, but your work can sometimes be seriously interrupted by bad health. For others, major health issues are frailty and old age.
ealth insurance covers these issues:
- Critical Illness Cover
- Long term care
- Income Protection
- Medical Insurance
Critical Illness Cover
If you have critical illness cover, your may be covered. This means you are able to have worry-free time off to recover if you were to fall seriously ill.
How it Works
The policies pay out a lump sum if you find that you have any one of a number of specified conditions or need a named operation. Payment is normally made on either diagnosis, or if you survive a pre-determined time period following diagnosis, or progression to some specified level of seriousness, depending on the policy conditions.
For conditions that start minor but become serious, the policy will normally only pay out when certain criteria are met. For example, for a cancer claim the cancer must usually be malignant and invasive.*
The conditions covered vary from company to company, and you should check with the product provider to see exactly which conditions are covered, but will normally include:-
- some forms of cancer
- some forms of heart attack
- some terminal conditions
- there will frequently be a long list of other conditions such as kidney failure, MS (multiple Sclerosis), Motor Neurone Disease, loss of sight, hearing and limbs, and others, the details of which may vary between insurance companies.
*The logic behind this is simple – if claims were paid for small early stage cancers, cured with a simple day patient operation, then premiums would have to be too high for anyone to afford. It’s much more important to pay out on the genuinely serious cases, such as those where early treatment fails, or which are discovered too late, and that is what your premium is for.
One important omission is Death.
Death may or may not be included. If excluded it will mean that while your premium may be lower, it also means that if, for example, you die in a car crash, there will not be any payment.
The reason for making death cover optional is that many people have sufficient cover from other policies, employers’ schemes etc, and so prefer to use their own money purely for the cover they do need – critical illnesses.
We will help determine what cover you need, what sort of policy you need and help find the most suitable and cost effective insurance company.
Corporate Note – if you are a company and have valuable staff whose absence due to a critical illness would cause a problem, (e.g. the sales manager whose personal touch closes the business and who is laid off by a heart attack, or the technical specialist whose skills are essential to providing solutions for clients) then as a company you can insure the company against this. We will be pleased to discuss this with you.
Long Term Care
Long term care can destroy your savings as well as the equity in your property.
In many cases, if you or your partner were in need of care, you would not get help from the State until your savings are reduced.
- Basic care can start at £300 p/w—rising as more needs arise. (However, residential costs vary)
- If you live alone then your house is taken into account and you are expected to sell it in order to pay for the care you need
- If you have a partner (spouse or civil partnership) then seek advice.
You will not get financial assistance if:
- You live in England or Northern Ireland and have over £23,250 in capital assets
- You live in Wales and have over £24,000 in capital assets
- You live in Scotland and have over £26,000 in capital assets (In Scotland you may be entitled to personal care costs of £169 p/wk)
You should speak to a financial advisor if:
- You are retired
- You are approaching retirement
- You have a responsibility for an elderly relative
There are also product options for those who are entering care or those who expect to.
Immediate Care Products
People are drawn to immediate care products because a lot of the time, if you live a long time in care, you will exhaust all your hard earned savings.
However, these packages are a last resort and can be expensive. They are aimed at couples to save the surviving partner from having financial worries.
A couple live in a house that they own. They have modest pensions and perhaps £20,000 in investments. One of them needs to go into care, but the two of them may live for several years after. The savings would soon be gone. To afford a nice care home, the house is sold and soon their savings have diminished. The surviving partner ends up spending a lot of the money looking after their partner.
An immediate care product allows for an alternative process.
The house is sold. Some of the money is used to buy the care package, and the rest is divided between savings and the purchase of a replacement home for the survivor – typically a flat. This means that the survivor can face the future on a financially even keel, without worrying about care fees.
Permanent Health Insurance
Becoming ill or disabled and being forced to live on State Benefits can be devastating.
If your employer does not provide you with an employee benefit scheme, you may have to purchase your own.
The cost depends on several factors:
- Your age
- How dangerous your employment is
- Your state of health
- How long you are willing to wait before your payment commences
Some people opt for policies that pay out after only four weeks, but others seeking to cover only the most dire of emergencies, are willing to wait two years.
Most people choose a delay, e.g. of six or twelve months, to accord with resources available and/or employer support for the interim.
Where the deferred period is shorter, the premiums could be significantly higher.
If cover is required, we will be pleased to provide quotes that suit your needs as part of our overall advisory service.
You can set up an income protection scheme for individual employees or for employees as a group.
The scheme means you can protect your employees from losing their income if their health makes a turn for the worse. The protection scheme pays them if they have to take time off work.
Private Medical Insurance
These insurance plans vary. There are plans that cover you for most eventualities where you can arrange your appointment times and places specifically to suit you.
There are also budget plans that come into play only if the NHS fails to treat you within a given time frame—e.g. 6 weeks.
We can help you choose the right plan at the right price for you. .