At SMP Healthcare Ltd we are pleased to provide our clients with a comprehensive market review every year to enable them to see an accurate health insurance comparison without having to do the hard work themselves. In essence, by choosing us as your specialist health insurance broker, you know that you will receive accurate information without bias.

When looking at a private medical insurance policy for example, we have many questions to consider when looking the similarities and differences in cover such as:

1. What is the level of out-patients cover?
Full refund / £1000 or £500 limit / no out-patients cover

– Out-Patients cover is for specialist consultations, x-rays, pathology, physiotherapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, MRI, CT and PET scans. (Please note that many providers cover the high cost scans MRI/CT and PET scans and Out-patients cancer treatment in full regardless of your out-patient limit)

2. Is there an excess in place or required and is it per claim or per policy year?
£0 / £50 / £100 / £200 / £250 / £500 or maybe even £1000

– Your excess could be per claim or most commonly per policy year. The higher the excess level you have the cheaper your premium will be.

3. Which hospital List?
Standard hospitals / London hospitals / reduced hospital option.

– Having cover for the higher charging London hospitals can increase the premium you pay if your insurer operates different hospital list options. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, AVIVA offer a greatly reduced premium for their Signature hospital list which covers these areas specifically.

4. What is the start or renewal date?
In case of rate changes from the insurers.

– If you are looking to purchase a policy and there is a rate change due, you may save money by bringing forward your policy start date so it begins prior to the increase.

5. Is there cover for psychiatric claims?
Claims for Psychiatric/ Mental health issues can prove to be costly and you could see a significant reduction in premium if you opt to remove cover for psychiatric claims.

6. Is there cover for cancer?
Core cover / full cover / completely removed from the policy

– Cancer cover is available in different levels from many providers. You may want the peace of mind to know you have full cancer cover including end of life Palliative care or you could chose to remove cancer cover altogether and use the NHS for this. Removing cover for cancer or limiting the cover for cancer will provide you with substantial savings. Please note that not all providers offer the option to remove cancer cover completely.

7. Are there any add-ons required?
Travel / dental & optical / Additional care benefits / healthy lifestyle rewards

– Different Insurers offer different types of policy add on. These will generally increase your premium.

8. Are there any cost containment options required?
6 week wait / selected benefit reductions

– If you are looking to reduce your premiums significantly the 6 week wait option may be for you. If eligible treatment is available on the NHS within six weeks from the date it should take place, then you will use the NHS. However if the wait for treatment is more than six weeks from when it should take place, then you can go private straight away. The 6 week wait option applies to In-patient or Day-patient treatment.

Although we have shown above the comparison details on a private medical insurance policy, we would review cash plans, dental cover and occupational health in the same way as all of these plans have their own nuances.

With all insurance policies from any market sector, no two providers offer cover that is exactly the same, there are so many variations on benefit level, excess and hospital lists that it becomes a minefield of information for people to wade through. We pride ourselves in knowing the policies that we offer our clients and our ability to show comparisons on the closest matching policies for you regardless of whether you are an individual client, SME Business or corporate client.