Ricky Batten

5 tips for renewing health insurance

Consider premium increases, benefit changes and more.

While it may be tempting to overlook the renewal process, this isn’t a sensible move in the long term. 

So instead of blindly signing up for another year of health insurance coverage, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate your policy to make sure it still meets your healthcare and lifestyle needs, as well as budgetary requirements. After all, your life is constantly changing and so are the external forces shaping the insurance company. 

As we’re fast approaching the start of the next year, I thought I should give you some tips for renewing your health insurance policy in today’s blog post. That being said, your policy end date and renewals timeframe will depend on when you signed up and won’t necessarily coincide with the calendar year. 

Without further ado, here are the tips:

1. Watch out for premium increases

Premium increases are to be expected on virtually all health insurance policies due to factors like medical inflation, as well as your age and product performance. Some will rise a little, while others substantially. Therefore, you need to keep an eye out for these increases and make sure it’s in line with the market. If what you’re being asked to pay is unreasonably high, consider shopping around for better deals. 

2. Understand benefits changes...

Next up is changes to your benefits. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in benefits as insurers may decide to increase benefits for the plan you’re on to make it more competitive in the market. Either way, it’s important to be aware of any changes and how they might affect you before renewing your health insurance policy. The last thing you want is to miss out on benefits or, worse, having to pay out of pocket for things that used to be covered. 

3. …and amended levels (if any)

Similarly, insurers may also change your policy by amending the maximum level of benefits you can claim from. Let’s say you had a USD $100,000 limit previously. Don’t be surprised if it dropped by half or even doubled. While the reasons for the changes can vary, you should make sure you know what levels and maximums are being changed at the very least as it may affect how attractive your policy is.

4. Don’t forget about deductibles and copay amounts

If the premium and benefits changes are acceptable, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal. To be sure, you’ll need to check whether there are any changes in how insurers expect you to co-finance your own care. Higher deductibles (also known as excesses) copay amounts can keep your premiums low, but it may as well see you pay more for coverage than what you could get elsewhere. 

5. Network changes are also not an insignificant matter

Where do you normally go to access healthcare? Most likely, you’ll be going to hospitals and healthcare facilities that are within your policy’s network as these tend to be the cheaper option. However, these networks can change every year so make sure you check that the place you normally go to is still included. It’s not the end of the world if it’s not included - as you can always switch providers, but it may be a deal breaker for some. 

Reach out to an expert and impartial broker for all the help you can get!

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Evaluating your health insurance plan is a tedious process - especially if you’re not familiar with insurance jargon, as it requires burying your heads deep into your policy’s terms and conditions. It can be a massive lifesaver to have an expert and impartial broker by your side to help explain things to you in layman terms and do all of the legwork for you. 

To speak to an advisor today and simplify your insurance journey,  you’re welcome to send me an email at ajarn@pacificprime.co.th or contact my team at Pacific Prime Thailand


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