Retirement and your private medical insurance

When you are thinking about your retirement, there are several things to consider and factoring in the cost for personal private medical insurance is something many people include as part of their future plans.

If you have been part of a company private medical insurance scheme, keeping this going might be high on your list, especially if you have used it for medical treatment in the past. Yes, you need to ensure you have the funds available for all eventualities in your retirement but, if you are used to having PMI in place, do you really want to stop now? Stepping down from your place of work does not mean you are walking away from everything, right? But make sure you consider carefully, as continuing with the same insurer may not be best option for you.

As you get older, the risk of illness increases and yet, when you reach retirement, you are – of course – no longer eligible to be part of your company’s private medical insurance policy. Your current insurance provider can offer you continuation terms on a personal basis, but this is going to be more expensive than the monthly premium as part of the group scheme. Depending on your medical history, this is probably not the most cost-effective solution.

You may want to look around and take out a policy with a different insurer. The UK has a number of insurance providers that will offer you great options when you retire.

Top tips for buying private medical insurance on reaching retirement:

  • Don’t discount the unknown brand names
  • Never be persuaded by “hard sales” people
  • Research using a reputable specialist broker
  • Avoid paying for benefits you are unlikely to use
  • Be realistic about your monthly budget

A reputable health insurance broker will put your needs before their commission gains. If you want to know how much commission they will be paid for setting up your policy, just ask the question. Make sure the recommendation you receive is based on the policy you want, rather than the money someone will earn!

There are websites that target people who are stepping down from the workplace. They do offer PMI solutions for when you retire, but there may also be some other great options in the market.

Planning for your retirement is a complex issue. Including PMI as part of the plan doesn’t have to be.

What happens if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

If you have pre-existing medical conditions and you are still having active treatment, staying with your current insurer is probably the best idea, but you don’t have to keep the same cover levels as the company you are leaving. Your insurer will be able to offer a range of personal cover levels that will be suitable for your retirement. It is also possible that you no longer receive treatment and therefore a different insurer could offer you cheaper switch options. This can make it easier to afford your policy in the long term.

When it comes to covering a couple, it is very possible that one of you have claimed and the other has not. If one of you is fit and healthy, then you can look to split the policy. Why pay more for your cover in this situation? Surely you would rather spend your hard-earned retirement funds on more pleasurable things!

What happens if I don’t have pre-existing medical conditions?

This is a perfect situation at retirement. If you have no pre-existing medical conditions, then finding a cheaper alternative should be easy enough to do. UK private medical insurance providers often have great deals for new and switch business. With no medical history to take into consideration, new underwriting can offer you excellent options. Speak to a recognised health insurance specialist and let them find out what deals are available for you when you retire.

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) can help you find the right broker. See the link below:

Find an expert

The Association of British Insurers can give you great insight and explains in more detail about choosing the right cover. Again, please see link below:

Insurance companies that offer private medical insurance for retirement

At Ascend Health, we work with a number of insurance providers. We work for you to find the best insurance based on both your requirements and budget. Big brands and smaller bespoke insurers are there to offer you suitable choices at retirement.

Our insurance panel includes:

  • Aviva
  • AXA Health
  • Bupa
  • The Exeter
  • Freedom Health
  • General and Medical
  • Vitality Health

Regardless of your age, there will be a health insurance policy available for you. The options to switch, however, may become less as some insurers have a maximum joining age for new members.

What happens if you cannot afford to continue with PMI at retirement?

Not everyone will be able to afford to keep their health insurance at retirement. There are other options, however, that will help you to spread the cost of private medical treatment. These options are not always available via a broker or financial adviser. You will be able to buy them directly from the insurer.

Options include:

  • Cash Plans – they will provide you with cash back for everyday healthcare costs
  • Dental insurance – covering you for routine and major dental procedures
  • Benenden Health – cover for non-urgent surgery and diagnostics (many additional benefits included)
  • Private Health insurance – low-cost cover (excludes cover for heart, cancer and monetary cap on surgery treatments)

As shown, the above policies are not available from brokers such as Ascend Health, but they are available directly. Providers of these products include:

Bupa, Healthshield, Simplyhealth, Benenden Health and Westfield Health.

Here at Ascend Health, we want to help all clients find the right policy, first time. If we are unable to help you with private medical insurance due to budget restrictions at retirement, we are happy to signpost you to alternative, cheaper options. Statistically, as you get older, the risk of becoming unwell increases. We also understand, however, that as your income may decrease at retirement, you may need to adjust your cover accordingly.

Our team are ready to help you choose a great policy for your retirement. Please get in touch today and our experts will guide you through all your health insurance needs.

You can contact us on 01245 929129 or by email:

We look forward to working with you soon.