Cheap health insurance: Are the savings worth it?
It’s true that buying medical coverage can be expensive, but it can also be an absolute necessity in some countries. Places like the US and Dubai can be a risky experience; firstly as both countries have mandatory insurance laws, and secondly as they can have extremely high medical costs if you need treatment. However, is taking a cheap health insurance option worth it? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the various types of health insurance, and Pacific Prime Dubai has the information you need to make a decision.
Buying an insurance policy
When it comes to purchasing insurance, your first thought should always be about your needs. Whether you’re looking for insurance for yourself, your family, or to cover a group of members, a plan is no good if it doesn’t provide the right coverage when you need it to. You should be aware of what is and isn’t included in your insurance plan and how this might affect you should you need to make a claim. Things to consider when looking for health insurance is:
- Will pre-existing conditions be covered, and at what cost?
- What are the benefit limits, and will there be an excess, deductible or co-pay?
- How easy is it to process claims, and how quickly can they be approved?
- Does the insurer only accept care from certain hospitals/clinics, and how is payment settled?
All of this should be well understood before you decide on a policy’s price tag. Like any product you can purchase, a cheap health insurance may be less expensive because of how low the benefits are, how restrictive the coverage is, or the priority in which claims are processed. As many insurers offer flexible and adaptable terms in their insurance products, it’s possible that a pricier plan may have some negotiable aspects that can make the cost more acceptable.
What can I negotiate in an insurance plan to reduce the price?
As mentioned, many insurers are open to being flexible with their policies so that you can work on getting the coverage you need for a premium you can accept. If a plan has the coverage you need but might just be out of your price range, check whether there’s any wriggle room in the following:
- A deductible – A set amount you can agree to pay for care, with the insurer covering the rest if the claim is accepted. This reduces the risk to the insurer and can often reduce the premium.
- A co-pay – Instead of a set amount, you agree to pay a percentage of the cost of treatment.
- An excess – The insurer sets a maximum amount they will pay and the insured agrees to cover the rest above that amount.
- Types of coverage included – Look at reducing or removing things including the maternity, dental and vision benefits of a full coverage plan. These can be expensive, whereas plans with only inpatient and outpatient care will be cheaper.
- Insure more than one person – If this is possible, consider it! Group plans are cheaper as it allows insurers to spread the risk across multiple people. Insure your family, or see if your local social or sports club wants to offer a group plan to its members.
- No claims bonus – Some insurers have a bonus discount applied after a certain amount of time without claims.
Next to understanding your needs, understanding where you can be flexible in your own health coverage expectations can help you shape a policy into a cheap health insurance plan.
What are the risks of purchasing a cheap health insurance policy based on price?
There are a number of things that can happen if you buy a medical plan simply on how cheap it is. A plan with a low premium and a high deductible on hospital visits might seem like a more cost effective arrangement but, if you fall seriously ill or injured, those deductibles can pile up if you find yourself in and out of hospital. Some plans may offer good coverage for treatments but the money you might save may be on excluded coverage for things like hospital stays, prescription medicine, or could be that your nearest eligible hospital is miles away.
Low cost policies will often exclude benefits such as vision, dental, and maternity, meaning any sudden, unexpected need for either will see you pay a lot out of pocket. Other policies will exclude a great number of conditions, or provide low limits for them, so a sudden cancer diagnosis can often render your cheaper health insurance policy relatively useless. Often, the money you save on a cheap health insurance plan can be easily negated by the cost you bear should something serious arise.
Beyond that, in cities like Dubai where there is mandatory health insurance it is important to be aware of what exactly is required to be covered. In some cases, going for a cheaper plan not issued in Dubai might actually mean it is not compliant with the local law. If this is the case, you will see any visa applications or renewals denied, and you could be fined.
How can I ensure I get the coverage I need for a price I can afford?
Your best option is to engage an insurance broker. Pacific Prime Dubai are a team of dedicated and experienced consultants who put you at the centre of their decision making, then source the best plans from the top insurers around the world. They can deliver solutions for individuals, families and groups, and have done so for almost 20 years. They specialize in simplifying insurance, so you’ll know every step of the way what’s involved and how you stand to benefit.
For a free quote or some helpful advice, contact the team at Pacific Prime Dubai today!
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