Can private medical insurance cover older people? - Private Health Insurance

Yes but not every insurer accepts older people. Some insurance providers will accept new customers, whatever their age whereas others will have an age limit.

This is why it’s a good idea to shop around.

What is certain is that health insurance is more expensive for older people, especially once you reach the age of 50. We have already said that even if you have a healthy lifestyle such as watching what you eat and going to the gym, you are still considered to be a higher risk than a younger person.

This can seem unfair especially as there are plenty of younger people who lead unhealthy lifestyles. But, insurance companies deal in facts and statistics and in their eyes, an older person is likely to require treatment more than a younger person.

They also point to the fact that more claims are made by older people than younger ones.

However, insurance companies are recognising the fact that many older people are fitter and healthier than younger people as a result of their lifestyles and are now offering different types of cover, aimed at the over 50s. They realise that people are living longer and in a better state of health than their predecessors so the old rules may no longer apply.

But, there are still insurers who refuse to renew health insurance on anyone aged over 65 or 70. Check to see how long your cover lasts and what the age limit is.

What is difficult is knowing that you will require medical treatment as you age but being unable to afford it. You may have had health insurance in the past but have had to give it up because of financial reasons. Another reason may be that you had health insurance as part of an overall remuneration package when you were employed but this is no longer an option now that you are retired.

One way round this is to opt for ‘self-paying’ or a health cash plan. Another option is to check with your former employer to see if they have a scheme for retired employees.    

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