Health and medical insurances

health insuranceIt's when you need to make a claim that you realise just how wise investing in health and medical insurance can be.

Permanent health insurance (PHI)

PHI provides cover in the event that the insured is unable to work, and therefore to earn, due to illness or injury.

The premium cost will depend on your occupational speciality, age at outset and gender. A further factor that affects the premium level is how soon you need the benefit to be paid from; if you have full pay protection for a period of time from your employer then you can afford to wait longer for the benefits to become payable. This reduced the risk that the insurer faces and thereby reduces the premium payable.

There is considerable choice between different covers offered by different insurers. However, the most important aspect is to ensure that the cover you obtain provides you with ‘occupation specific’ protection, that’s to say that in the event that you are incapacitated from the carrying out the essential aspects of your occupation your cover will start. Alternative levels of cover will measure your incapacity against certain 'work tasks' or 'activities of daily living', extreme caution should be exercised when choosing a non 'occupation specific' PHI policy.

Critical illness

Considering just how many lives are wrecked by critical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, it is surprising that more people do not take out critical illness insurance.

The principle is straightforward; in the event of an illness being diagnosed, the insurance company will pay out a lump sum after a survival period. Often, critical illness cover is combined with other types of insurance and may even provide an investment element so that, for example, a given sum will be paid out on the death of the insured.

Critical illness cover has some overlap with PHI in the definition of 'permanent total disability’, as with PHI you should ensure that your critical illness policy should also be on ‘occupation specific’ terms. Then, in the event that any illness that permanently prevents you from following your speciality the critical illness benefit becomes payable.

Long-term care

We tend not to think about how to pay for long-term care until one of our relatives has to go into a residential or nursing home.

Average weekly nursing home costs could run into hundreds of pounds. By paying either a regular or single premium, the insured can add to the amount that may be available through state benefits to fund the cost of such care and this could mean having to deplete less or none of your assets to meet the cost.

This is why long-term care should form part of your discussion with MedDen Financial Services LLP. There is no doubt that the need for care is likely to increase as life expectancy continues to rise and with only limited care facilities available, the costs are likely to rise.

Private medical insurance (PMI)

PMI is complicated for those approaching it for the first time. In order to make sure the policy you choose is the right one to meet your needs it is worth speaking to an adviser who has specialist knowledge in medical policies and can guide you through the maze of different offerings on the market.

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