Investing in private health insurance can give you a variety of benefits, including quicker access to healthcare, alternative treatment options, better rooms when admitted, and much more. However lately many are finding that the premiums on their private health insurance are increasing, as insurers struggle to keep up with the demand for and rising cost of healthcare.

If you don’t want to give up on private health insurance but at the same time want to cut down its toll on your wallet, there are several ways that you can reduce your health insurance costs:

  • Quit smoking

If you are a smoker then your premium is bound to be higher than that of a non-smoker – and it will just keep going up as you get older. By quitting smoking you could slash the premiums that you pay by half, but just be aware that most insurers will require that you quit all forms of tobacco and nicotine – including e-cigarettes and nicotine gum.

  • Increase the excess

As with any insurance, if you increase the excess (i.e. deductible) that you pay on a claim then your monthly premium will be smaller. Of course at the same time it will also mean that when you do make a claim you will have to pay more – which makes it a double-edged sword of sorts. Be careful not to increase the excess too much, or you might end up saddled with a healthcare bill that you can’t afford.

  • Pay annually instead of monthly

Many insurers will offer a certain discount if you opt to pay annually as opposed to monthly. The exact amount that you can save by doing so will vary on a case by case basis, but it is certainly something that you should ask your insurer about when you’re looking at plans.

  • Try the ‘Six Week Wait’ option
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Under the ‘Six Week Wait’ option, you will essentially be agreeing to be treated under the NHS if the waiting period for your condition is less than six weeks. If it is any more than that then you will be eligible to be treated immediately under private healthcare. While this may sound counterintuitive, it is actually a measure that was introduced to help reduce private health insurance premiums, and could cut them by as much as 30% if you’re willing.

  • Adjust your cover

As you probably know different private health insurance plans offer a range of different cover – and by adjusting it you can reduce your premiums. Sometimes cutting out alternative therapies and psychiatric cover can help reduce your premiums by 10% – each.

Hopefully these tips will help you to reduce the cost of your health insurance so that it is in a more affordable and manageable range. Be sure to shop around when you’re choosing a health insurance plan and carefully compare them against one another before deciding, as you’ll find that you could end up saving quite a bit if you do so as well.