What Benefits Can You Get From A Top-Up Insurance Plan?
Written exclusively for Expat Network by Pacific Prime UK
What is top-up health insurance?
Designed to supplement the coverage gaps and benefit deficiencies in your existing health insurance, top-up plans offer additional coverage and take over right where the current plan’s benefits end.
For example, let’s say you need elbow surgery that costs you £6,000 but your employer-sponsored insurance has a limit of only £3,000, which means that you’ll have to pay for the remaining £3,000 out of pocket. However, if you’ve taken a top-up insurance policy, the plan would have increased your coverage limit and offered you an extra layer of protection against high medical bills.
Why your employer-provided health insurance may not be enough
Most employer-provided insurance policies only offer the most basic benefits and fail to cover for all the medical costs of their employees, especially for more expensive cases, such as inpatient treatment or surgery. This is because group health insurance is a big expense for the company and most companies will provide only the bare minimum requirement to save HR costs.
Below are the most common benefit deficiencies that top-up insurance can supplement:
Inadequate critical illness coverage
As mentioned above, group health insurance is only designed to protect employees against basic medical treatments. Should you develop chronic diseases like diabetes, epilepsy, or more serious conditions such as heart attack or cancer, they will not be covered and you will have to pay out of pocket for your own treatments.
Lack of portability
Normally, once you have ended your employment contract with your employer, your health insurance plan will also be cancelled. This may cause serious complications for older employees since the new insurer may see the illnesses they are having as pre-existing conditions and exclude them from coverage.
Different surgical schedule coverage
Most group health insurance policies will only compensate according to a surgical schedule, which means different reimbursement percentages for different surgical operations.
No additional benefits
Since most health insurance policies offered by employers only focus on inpatient and outpatient treatments, there is a lack of coverage in other aspects such as maternity, dental and optical benefits.
When do you need top-up health insurance?
Now, you should understand the advantages of top-up health insurance. In this part, we will shed light on four scenarios to illustrate when you need this form of insurance.
1. You suffer from a chronic illness but want to switch jobs
As explained above, the insurer at the new company may apply waiting periods or exclusions to your plan if you have pre-existing conditions. Thus, it is advisable for you to take out top-up insurance that will be able to cover for your medical treatments.
However, not all top-up insurance plans offer cover after you leave your current employer. And those that do need to perform an underwriting process known as Continuous Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME). This process allows you to carry over all underwriting terms from your previous insurer, and lets you enjoy the same level of coverage between your old group plan and your new individual plan.
2. You want additional coverage
If your employer-provided cover limits how many times you can use the benefits, or if you need extra benefits such as dental, maternity, optical or wellness, you should consider having top-up health insurance.
3. Your company may reduce your group plan’s benefits
Companies will review their coverage benefits when they renew their group insurance policy each year. If you think that your company may cut down on some benefits, you should get a top-up plan to avoid losing out on these benefits in the future.
4. You want to reduce the deductibles on your main plan
Purchasing a top-up plan can effectively help lower the deductibles on your main plan. But it is important to note that this solution will only work if the claims are eligible on both the main and top-up plans and that you cannot submit a bill twice for actual reimbursements.
Get top-up insurance through Pacific Prime
In the face of the ever-rising medical costs in the United Kingdom, it is safe to say top-up insurance is one of the most effective solutions for making up for coverage gaps in employer-sponsored insurance. However, there are so many top-up insurance options on the market and it can be a cumbersome process to hunt for the right one on your own.
One of the best ways to find the right top-up insurance is to engage the service of an established insurance brokerage like Pacific Prime UK. As an award-winning broker for expatriate health insurance, private family medical cover and global businesses, Pacific Prime UK has a team of reliable and experienced insurance advisors. Contact them today for free insurance quotes and plan comparisons!