Some may say that life begins at 50. It's when you're most likely to reap the fruits of your hard work. A big part of your mortgage may be paid off. And if you have kids, they might be achieving their own financial independence.
For all these reasons (and more), your 50s can be an exciting time in your financial life, and an ideal decade to look after yourself. So, how does health insurance fit into your plans? Here are some key things to consider.
Checking in on your health insurance needs
If you've become an empty nester or have repaid most of your mortgage, now may be time to think about your health insurance needs.
There are some factors to keep in mind. As you age, your costs of living may reduce along with your debt levels. Plus, you may have fewer people depending on you financially. At the same time, the likelihood of making a claim is higher, and so are health insurance costs.
Whether you've had your policy for a number of years, or are exploring your options for the very first time, it's important to look at your healthcare needs and make sure you have the right level of cover – not too much, not too little, just right.
How health insurance can help you in your 50s
With your circumstances in mind, you need to consider what medical services you'd like to have covered. You can save money by checking that you're not paying for things that you don't need. At the same time, you are more likely to need cover for age-related risks like eye disease, hip replacements or cardiac surgery.
Also, take a good look at the extras that your policy offers – what you can comfortably give up and what else might add value.
Thinking about costs?
Just like with any other type of risk insurance, health insurance premiums rise as you age, because the likelihood of claiming increases.
Removing add-ons and extras that you don't need isn't the only way to keep insurance costs under control. If you think you can afford to pay more in the event of a claim, you may also consider increasing the excess on your cover. The more you agree to pay, the lower your premiums will be.
Plus, check if there any discounts available for direct debit – every little bit counts.
What about replacing your cover?
If you already have health cover, you may find that another provider offers you lower premiums. But remember, price isn't the only factor to consider when taking out insurance.
If you've had your health insurance for a number of years, you may have developed medical conditions in the meantime. If these have occurred after you've taken out your policy, they are covered under your current plan – but they are likely be treated as pre-existing conditions (and therefore be excluded) under a brand-new policy.
Make sure that you're not actually losing important cover just to save a few bucks. It may be worthwhile keeping the same policy and adjusting it to your current needs.
Taking out health insurance for the first time?
If you're in your 50s and taking out health insurance for the first time, you can use our comparison engine to get and compare quotes in minutes. Click here to enter your details and receive a secure health insurance quote in minutes.
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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.