One of the biggest issues facing health insurance customers, companies and brokers at the moment is having to deal with the rising cost of insurance premiums, particularly health insurance renewals with most companies increasing premiums by a minimum of 8% or more this year.
Renewing your health insurance may not be the most exciting thing to do, but it is crucial for your financial and physical well-being. The cost of healthcare continues to rise, and without insurance, you could be left with an enormous medical bill. So, if you’ve received a renewal notice for your health insurance policy, don’t let it sit in your inbox or on your desk. Get it out and let’s start by looking at the reasons why you took insurance in the first place
Having health insurance is important for many reasons including:
- Protection against rising healthcare costs
- Financial security for you and your family
- Access to quality healthcare
- Meeting the requirements of your visa (e.g. In Thailand insurance is required for a number of visa classes)
- Maintaining your coverage (e.g. If you let your health insurance lapse, it can be difficult to get coverage again)
No one appreciates having to pay more than they did last year for the same level of coverage and this, coupled with other financial pressures causes most of us to panic and immediately start looking to other insurance companies for lower prices. However, shifting to another company based on price is generally not a good idea (unless you have had a serious issue with your existing company). In this blog, we will identify a number of options you may wish to consider before deciding to move from your existing insurance provider to another cheaper provider.
Like it or not, the main reason health insurance premiums continue to increase is due to inflation and the rising costs of healthcare. Unfortunately, there is very little we can do about this. In 2022, the global inflation rate was measured at approximately 8.8%, with some countries experiencing even higher rates. In addition, the cost of healthcare has been increasing by an average of 5-7% annually in Thailand and worldwide. This leads to higher costs for insurance providers, hospitals and healthcare facilities, all the way down to the premiums individual policyholders pay at the end of each year.
Additionally, as you enter a new age band, your premiums may increase as insurance companies take into account the higher risk associated with older individuals (Adults over age 65 are more likely to encounter diseases related to aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or more advanced chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.)
It’s important to note that while the increase in premiums may be a tough pill to swallow, it’s a necessary step to ensure that you continue to have access to quality healthcare and financial protection. Without this, your insurance company might become insolvent and all the payments you have paid to ensure your health and security in the future gone with it. Having said that, let’s take a look at some options to maintain your insurance.
4 ways to reduce the cost of your premium:
1. Taking a higher deductible:
If you’re willing to assume a greater share of the financial risk associated with your healthcare, you can consider taking a plan with a higher deductible. This means you’ll be responsible for paying more out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in, but you may benefit from lower premiums.
2. Reduce your area of coverage:
Opting for coverage in a smaller area, such as just your country or region, may lower your premiums. However, be sure to carefully consider your healthcare needs and any potential risks before making this decision.
3. Paying annually instead of monthly or half-yearly:
Some insurance providers may offer discounts if you choose to pay your premiums annually instead of in monthly or half-yearly installments. This can help you save money over the long term and simplify your budgeting.
4. Taking a plan with lower overall benefits which still meets your needs:
Another option to consider is taking a plan with lower overall benefits that still meets your healthcare needs. By choosing a policy with less extensive coverage, you may be able to reduce your premiums without sacrificing essential benefits.
By exploring these options and working with your insurance provider to find a solution that meets your needs and budget, you can help reduce the financial burden of your health insurance premiums. Remember, however, that it’s crucial to maintain adequate coverage to protect your health and financial well-being in the long run.
In addition to why you should renew your health insurance, it is important to note what may happen if you don’t renew your policy.
What can happen if I don’t renew my insurance:
1. You may lose your no-claim rebate
If you have been eligible for a no-claim rebate and don’t renew your policy, you may lose the rebate that you would have received. This rebate is typically offered to customers who have not made any claims in the previous year and is a valuable benefit that can help reduce the cost of your premiums.
2. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered
If you have a pre-existing medical condition under your current plan and choose not to renew, you may not be covered for that condition under a new insurance policy with a new company. Insurance companies typically require a waiting period before covering pre-existing conditions, and if you let your policy lapse, it is unlikely your new company will extend that waiting period or cover you for any illness or injury that occured while you were under your previous plan. It is generally best to continue with your existing provider if you have a waiting period on a particular condition or if you received treatment for an illness or injury over the time of your existing plan.
3. Vulnerability to predatory pricing strategies
While it’s important to consider the cost of your health insurance policy, it’s also crucial to be aware of predatory pricing strategies. Some insurance companies may deliberately keep their prices low to attract customers, only to raise them significantly after the initial policy term has expired. This practice can leave you vulnerable to unexpected price increases in the future and may not be a sustainable option for the long term.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, it’s important to resist making any rash decisions or change insurance providers without carefully considering all of your options. Try to find a solution that meets your needs and budget without sacrificing benefits. By exploring the different options presented earlier, and working with your insurance provider, you can help reduce the financial burden of your health insurance premiums.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your health insurance premiums may continue to increase as you age or if you experience a change in your health status. If you have a chronic condition or require ongoing medical treatment, you may need to adjust your coverage accordingly.
It’s a good idea to review your health insurance policy annually to ensure that you have the right coverage for your current needs and budget.
➤ Finally, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team here at Thai Expat Club. Thai Expat Club offers access to affordable health and medical insurance for foreigners living, visiting, working or retiring in Thailand. We deal almost exclusively with reputable companies such as Aetna, April, Cigna, Luma and Pacific Cross for a higher range of benefits at affordable prices. We help clients avoid the confusion which comes from not being able to speak the language or communicate satisfactorily with staff in Thai Insurance Companies. Our service is FREE and we often save people money by offering a plan more closely matched to their lifestyle and budget.
Contact Thai Expat Club today and let us help you with your health insurance requirements.
Tel. 089-897-9437 or visit our website: https://thaiexpathealth.com/