Health insurance can be cancelled relatively simply by contacting your insurance provider. Whether you have found a better coverage option, experienced a change in personal circumstances, or simply no longer require the coverage, understanding the process of cancelling your health insurance policy is essential.
You may even get a refund on your premiums if you cancel within the 14-day cooling-off period that insurance companies are legally obligated to provide. This guide aims to help you to cancel your health insurance policy if you are ready to move on to a better one, or simply want a break.
How to Cancel a Health Insurance Policy
Step 1: Review The Policy
Carefully read through your health insurance policy documents to understand the cancellation process, any applicable fees, and the notice period required. This is to avoid getting hit with unnecessary fees.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Provider
Get in touch with your insurance provider’s customer service department and inform them of your intention to cancel. They can provide guidance on the cancellation process. Different insurers may have different steps and requirements.
Most insurance providers require written notice for cancellation, whether physical or digital. Write up a letter or email that makes it clear you wish to cancel the policy. Include your policy number, full name, and contact details. Ensure that you keep a copy for your own records.
Step 3: Send Cancellation Notice
Send the cancellation notice to your insurance provider using a method that provides proof of delivery, such as recorded delivery or email with a read receipt. This will help you to prove that you provided the notice within the required timeframe.
Step 4: Confirm the Cancellation
After sending the cancellation notice, follow up with your insurance provider to ensure they received it and to confirm the cancellation of your policy. Request written confirmation of the cancellation for your own records.
Why Would I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy?
You may decide to cancel your health insurance policy for any number of reasons, including:
- Finding a cheaper policy
- Changing jobs and therefore coming off your work plan
- No longer wanting or needing the coverage that your current policy provides
- Getting coverage through a different source
- Moving countries
- Being unsatisfied with your current provider
How Long Do I Have to Change My Mind About My Private Health Insurance?
Insurance companies are legally obligated to give you a cooling-off period of 14 days to cancel after you have signed up. This is for people who sign up and decide that the policy does not suit them. Some companies have longer cooling-off periods, up to a month.
The cooling-off period begins either from the start of the policy or upon receiving your policy documents, whichever occurs later. If you decide to cancel within this period, you should be entitled to a refund of the premiums you have already paid. However, your insurer may deduct a nominal amount to account for the days during which the policy was active. They might impose a small administrative fee as part of the cancellation process.
Can I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy at Any Time?
Yes, but there may be fees. In most cases, health insurance policies have a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can make changes to or cancel your policy, as mentioned before. After that, you may have to ensure you cancel before the policy’s notice period or you could get charged.
Usually, you will need to provide written notice of your intention to cancel, and the notice period can range from 30 to 90 days.
However, there are certain qualifying events that may allow you to cancel your policy outside of the cooling-off period. The nature of these will depend on your policy. Different policies may have different terms. Before you sign, make sure you read these terms.
How Do I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy During the Cooling-off Period?
To cancel your health insurance policy during the cooling-off period, you need to contact your insurance provider directly. They will pass you any forms or documentation that you might need to provide them. If you request cancellation within the specified deadline, it should be easy.
Are There Any Penalties for Cancelling My Health Insurance Policy?
No, not usually. If you cancel with enough notice, or within the cooling-off period, there should be no fees. However, some policies may have cancellation fees or penalties, especially if you cancel before the end of the policy term.
Can I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy if I Have Outstanding Medical Bills?
Yes, you can cancel your health insurance policy even if you have outstanding medical bills, but cancelling your policy does not absolve you of any financial obligations you may have accumulated while the policy was active. You still need to pay any outstanding medical bills or debts accrued during the coverage period.
Will Cancelling My Health Insurance Policy Affect My Coverage Until the Cancellation Date?
No, but cancelling your health insurance policy will generally result in the termination of your coverage from the cancellation date onwards. You will not be able to make any claims or receive benefits under the policy after the cancellation is effective.
Until then, however, you will continue to receive your usual level of coverage.
What Should I Do if My Health Insurance Provider Refuses to Cancel My Policy?
If your health insurance provider refuses to cancel your policy despite following the correct cancellation process, you should escalate the issue.
Contact their customer service department and clearly explain the situation, providing any relevant evidence such as copies of your cancellation notice and proof of delivery. It is better to do this by email so you have a written record.
If the issue remains unresolved, you can consider filing a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), an independent organisation that resolves disputes between consumers and financial institutions.
Can I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy if I Have a Pre-existing Medical Condition?
Yes, you can cancel your health insurance policy even if you have a pre-existing medical condition but there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you decide to apply for health insurance in the future, the pre-existing condition you had during the period without coverage may be considered when determining your eligibility or premiums.
Another issue is that if you cancel your health insurance while suffering from a medical condition, you should prioritise your well-being and ensure you have an alternate form of coverage.
Can I Cancel My Health Insurance Policy if I Have Employer-Provided Coverage or Work Benefits?
Yes, but only through your employer (see business health insurance). If you have health insurance coverage through your employer, the cancellation process may be different.
In most cases, you will not be able to cancel your policy individually, as it is typically managed by your employer. If you wish to make changes to your coverage or discontinue it, you should contact your company’s human resources department or the designated benefits administrator for guidance on the process and any associated implications.