What is Children’s Health Insurance?
Children’s Health Insurance is also known as Children’s Private Medical Insurance (PMI). It is an insurance policy you take out to cover some or all of the private health care costs for your dependent child or children. Under such a policy, children are ‘dependents’ until they reach 18 years of age or 21 if in full-time education.
Why should I take out health insurance for my child?
Many parents site NHS care as the main reason for taking out special coverage for their children. Higher waiting times and ever-increasing restrictions on care are among the biggest concerns. “Today, 10% of the population choose private medical insurance” and goes onto says that each year, over one million private health care operations are performed.
What kind of health care coverage should I take out for my child or children?
MediCompare can help you wade through the many choices. We can help you pick the right policy and supply you with a quote, often within the same day. We work with leading UK insurers to easily put you in touch with the best insurer with the best policy to suit your needs. This is a free service and we won’t share your details without your permission. There is no obligation.
One of the most popular policy types is comprehensive. With this one, you pay a monthly premium. Then, when issues arise and your child needs private health care you get to arrange cover when and where it suits. Then the insurer pays for your child’s private healthcare (hospital, specialists etc), depending on the coverage you have chosen.
You may get to choose the grade of hospital, from private wards in NHS hospitals to exclusive private hospitals that include all hospital charges, consultant and anaesthetist fees, diagnostic tests and outpatient fees.
As you begin to shop and compare policies, look for these options:
- Coverage for Inpatient tests
- Option to have surgery as an inpatient or day patient
- Some outpatient tests, consultations, treatments, and therapy
- Quick diagnosis and quick treatment
- Hospitals that are clean and give specialty treatment
- Prompter treatment to get back home quickly
- Nutritious food while in hospital
- High nurse to patient ratio
- Some policies will even pay for one parent to stay at the hospital with their child (if the child is under 16)
Keep in mind that most private medical insurers do not usually cover:
- Treatment of conditions of a long-term nature
- Elective surgery i.e. cosmetic
- Injuries caused by drug misuse or injuries that have been deliberately self-inflicted
- Organ transplant
- Gender reassignment
- Pre-existing conditions*
*If you have not arranged cover for your child before he or she becomes sick or injured with a certain condition, coverage of that condition could be excluded from any new policy you take out. Some insurers may offer a ‘moratorium period’ (often for 2 years.) This means that, if after those 2 years there has been no treatment or medical attention needed for that condition, the exclusion could be lifted.
Ways to reduce the cost of your child’s health care premium
You can choose policies for your children that differ in their level of cover but still give you access to eligible hospitals, surgeries, and specialists. Remember, the less you pay the less choice you will have when choosing specialty care, treatments.
Generally, insurers charge an excess on any health care procedure, hospital stay, etc. that has been provided for your child. This ‘excess’ is the portion of the fees for those services rendered that you must pay. When selecting your policy, you may choose to pay a large excess or small excess. The larger excess you choose the lower the premium you pay. Don’t worry. Choosing a smaller premium can still get you excellent care and choices.
Health Cash Plans
Health Cash plans are flexible schemes that spread the cost of some of your child’s health expenses by paying a monthly premium. This type of policy provides cover for routine health benefits and gives you money back to go towards dental treatments, check-ups, optical tests and prescription eyewear. It can also include physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, homoeopathy and acupuncture, specialist and investigations. Some even pay you cash for hospital admissions.
What else should I know about insuring my child?
Whether you are a seasoned health insurance buyer or are a first-time one, here are a couple questions you should ask yourself and/or your potential insurer:
- What would happen if my child was diagnosed with an illness?
- Am I prepared to pay for part of their treatment?
- What will health insurance not cover for my child?
- Are day-to-day healthcare costs and visits to the dentist, optician, podiatrist, audiologist and other healthcare professionals covered?
- Will the policy cover cancer drugs?
- Will the policy cover tests and treatment such as physiotherapy?
You may insure a child individually or you may insure as a family unit. If you already have a health insurance policy you may be able to add your child/children to your existing policy.
Alternately, talk to your employer. If they are already paying for health insurance for you they may be able to add your child or children for an additional cost.