Friday, 1 March 2013

Group Medical Insurance scheme leavers

When you leave a company, obviously you leave the employee benefits behind. This of course includes the private medical insurance.

On leaving a company group you are usually entitled to what is called a continuation option - this guarantees continuing cover with no additional medical underwriting but of course is paid by you directly rather than being provided free by your employer as a perk of employment.

The problem with this kind of continuation cover is that it is generally very expensive - typically far more than the equivalent plan with another insurer, even when they take you as a switching client with no additional underwriting themselves.

Bizarrely then an insurer that you have been with (possibly for years) offers worse rates than any one of five or six companies who have no idea what kind of a person or risk you are.

As a professional in the medical insurance sector for the best part of 20 years this situation with regards to continuation plans irritates me enormously - as you might imagine most people faced with having 'free' cover within a company plan (there is of course the tax benefit in kind to pay on the cover but it is a notional charge) and getting a quote for double the market rate to continue the cover tend to not bother and lose access to this valuable benefit.

The answer of course is to look at a full market review when leaving your company and at least considering a move away to a new insurer - regardless of whether you are retiring, moving jobs, setting up your own business or being made redundant it is usually better to consider a new insurer.

The main exception to this advice is if you have on-going health conditions or claims - these, depending on their nature might mean you are forced to stay with your holding insurer.

Regardless of your position, the complexity of medical insurance plans means that contacting an independent adviser like myself if almost always a good idea.


If you're interested in a free review of your medical insurance cover (family or company paid) please get in touch :

Tel - 07792 075748 or 0113 3474395
Twitter - @localventure1

Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, full FSA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group

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