Your health insurance premiums shouldn’t exceed your budget and health insurance shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury expense but rather as a necessity to provide you with quality medical care when you need it and to save you money in the long term. There are also many different types of health insurance options you can choose from, which will differ in terms of costs and benefits. Bloom Financial Services explains the factors that affect medical aid premiums and health insurance premiums.
What is a health insurance premium?
A health insurance premium is a monthly fee you are expected to pay each month when you take out a health insurance or medical insurance policy. This amount is usually debited directly from your account. The exact cost of your premiums will vary according to the type of plan you’ve taken out. In addition, it’s important to note that your health insurance plan will not cover all your medical expenses. You will still have to settle out of pocket expenses based on the type of healthcare you receive. This could include benefit limitations or exclusions.
Benefits of having health insurance
A health insurance plan will help reimburse you for some of the costs associated with an illness, medical condition or medical event, like a car accident, so that you don’t have to forego treatment or care if you’re unable to pay the amount from your personal savings. The monies are paid directly to you as a fixed lump sum payout or as an amount per day, as stipulated in your plan. Boh day-to-day and major medical events are included in a health insurance benefits plan.
7 Factors affecting health insurance premiums
The way health insurance premiums are calculated will depend on several factors and the type of plan you’ve chosen to take. Some of the factors that affect your health insurance premiums include your age, weight, location, medical history, lifestyle habits and policy terms. Having health insurance is so important given the rising costs of medical care in the country. It must also be remembered that there is a difference between a medical aid plan and a health insurance policy. Unlike medical aid, there are several factors that can affect your premiums, which you should be made aware of so that you can take action or make lifestyle adjustments if necessary. Some of the most common factors including the following:
1. Age. One of the biggest factors affecting health insurance premiums is your age. The older you are, the higher your premiums tend to be, which is why we recommend getting cover when you’re younger.
2. Medical history. This relates to your general health and to any pre-existing or chronic conditions you may have. Your premiums may be higher if you do have certain pre-existing conditions or if you have experienced certain diseases, or have had to undergo some types of medical treatments or surgery.
3. Health insurance policy term. The duration of the plan you select can also affect your premiums. The longer the policy term, the lower the premium and vice versa.
4. Body Mass Index (BMI). People with a high BMI are at risk for developing serious illnesses and conditions. This means their insurance risk increases so their premiums will also be higher.
5. Lifestyle habits. Participating in high-risk activities, like adventure sports or making unhealthy choices, like smoking, which has serious health implications, could also increase your health insurance premiums.
6. Your domestic location. Some geographical areas have higher health insurance rates than others. This could be due to the climate, certain health issues that are more prevalent in that particular area, or even crime statistics.
7. The type of plan you choose. Health insurance premiums will vary according to the plan you choose. If you chose a basic Health4Me Bronze plan you could expect to pay less than the premium Health4Me Gold plan. However, it must be noted that the Health4Me Gold is a more comprehensive plan that offers more benefits than the Bronze plan. For a complete review, compare all the Health4Me health insurance plans to make an informed decision.
Proven ways to lower your health insurance premiums
Now that you’re aware of the factors affecting health insurance premiums, you could choose to take certain lifestyle, health or strategic steps to reduce your premiums costs.
- Make sure you take out health insurance when you are young. Advanced age is one of the factors that affect health insurance premiums and the younger you are, the better premiums you are likely to receive from your insurer. The reason for this is because common age-related diseases and chronic conditions, like diabetes, blood pressure, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease increase your health risks.
- Choose long-term health insurance plans or policies. The premiums for long-term health insurance plans are usually lower than shorter plans.
- Purchase health insurance cover for your parents before they turn 60 years old. Once your parents turn 60, their health insurance premiums are likely to increase.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you’re in good health by making smart decisions. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly in order to keep your body mass index at the right level. This will decrease your risk for developing conditions like obesity or high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease. In addition, it’s advisable to quit smoking due to the negative effects it has on one’s health.
- Reassess your health needs. You may be missing out on savings because you have a plan that’s not meeting your specific needs. Fortunately, Health4Me health insurance plans follow the building block approach so you only pay for the benefits you need.
Get affordable health insurance with excellent benefits
Speak to a consultant about the different health insurance plans that are available with Momentum Health4Me. Bloom Financial Services is committed to top-quality and affordable healthcare services to South Africans. The Health4Me Bronze plan starts at just R517 per person per month. Discover the right health insurance plan that suits your budget by contacting our offices for more information.
Medical Content Disclaimer
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom Financial Services website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.