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PMI Cover over 50


Private Medical Insurance for the Over 50's

PMI Cover Over 50? Why bother?

As we are constantly being reminded by the media, '60 is the new 50'. Life expectancy is expected to continue to rise due to the ongoing advancements in medical treatment and the successful management of age related conditions. Also, according to the journal 'Science', by 2070, females living in the US and many more of the world's wealthier nations could routinely be living to 101 years of age! (Sorry chaps, you haven't quite narrowed the gap just yet!)

Results of a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, and reported in the Guardian newspaper in August of 2012, showed that men can currently expect to enjoy good or very good health up to the age of 64, an increase of 2 years in the past half-decade. By the age of 65, they may still expect a further 10 years of healthy life ahead of them. 1 in 3 respondents to the survey in the over 65 age group reported 'no long standing illness' and 60% had 'no lifestyle limiting illness'. 40% considered themselves to be 'in good health' and 37% thought their health to be 'fairly good'. Even in the over 85 group, 60% of women and 70% of men felt that their health was 'good' or 'fairly good'. So is there really any need to bother with Health Insurance if you are reaching a more mature age and what are the advantages?

The Benefits of PMI for the Over 50s

Firstly, although there are no Accident and Emergency facilities available at any of the UK's private hospitals, an individual who has private health cover can be transferred once their condition has been stabilised by the NHS provider where they have been initially taken for treatment. Instead of facing the possibility of spending hours on a trolley in a corridor waiting for a bed to become available, you can be transferred to your private hospital of choice to continue your ongoing care and recuperation.

Those with PMI in place can also benefit from prompt referral from their GP for specialist consultation and treatment and any elective surgery can be performed to best suit the policy holder's work or family commitments.

Specialist providers in the over 50's market, such as Saga, will offer guaranteed acceptance to their Health Plan packages without the requirement for any medical examination and with no upper age limit. Options are available which range from basic cover which will provide all in-patient expenses in a private hospital, mid-range cover which provides full in-patient, day-patient and selected outpatient treatment, and comprehensive cover which offers private hospital facilities, home nursing, physiotherapy, psychiatric and dental treatment. In addition, the Saga Health Plan Super will also cover expenses for a range of Complementary Therapies such as homeopathy, reflexology and acupuncture.

It is important to bear in mind that any pre-existing condition will not be covered by any Private Health Insurance provider although it may be possible to get cover through the provision of a moratorium policy. These are designed to exclude any pre-existing condition which has required treatment or medical consultation during the previous 5 years but, should the policy holder go for 2 years with no recurrence of the condition, the policy cover may be reinstated. Ongoing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or epilepsy will never be eligible for inclusion under PMI cover.

PMI: Unnecessary Indulgence or Practical Common Sense?

For those in the over 50's age bracket who are still undecided about the advisability of taking out a Private Medical Insurance policy, consider the findings of the Sternberg Active Life Awards 2011, reported in The Times newspaper in September of last year, which concluded "Britain needs to get over its old age prejudice." It had found that during 2010, the over 65s in the UK had contributed in excess of £176 billion to the economy through spending, taxation, voluntary work and caring responsibilities.

So, instead of feeling guilty about benefiting from Private Health provision, perhaps we should see it as less of a luxury and more as an investment in our future. It may possibly be viewed as our responsibility to keep ourselves as fit and healthy as we can in order to enjoy a long and happy retirement and to continue contributing to Mr Cameron's 'big society' for as long as we possibly can!

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