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Health Insurance Options for Unemployed


Many people depend on private health insurance provided by their employers. So, if you leave, or lose your job for whatever reason, one of the most pressing issues is taking measures to ensure that, if something happens to you, you’ll get the best treatment available.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The good news is that you can rely on your national insurance and the NHS, and there are a lot of great, affordable private insurance options available for you while you’re in between jobs.

Healthplan provides medical insurance for individuals, and their private individual health insurance policies provide the same coverage as company-sponsored health insurance.

If you’ve lost your job and your company has stopped providing your health insurance, or if you don’t qualify for benefits from your employer, then here are a few health insurance options for you to consider.

National Insurance

National insurance is a fund for workers who have lost their jobs, particularly for those who need medical care. It’s paid for with our taxes, so you might as well give it a go.

Note that to qualify for care from the NHS with national insurance, you must have a very high level of need; to qualify for price cuts, you need savings and assets worth less than £23,250 in England.

The amount you pay reduces until you have less than £14,250, at which point the council, to whom you paid your national insurance taxes, pays for your care if you qualify.

It’s a good thing that national insurance is there as a final option, but the pandemic, together with staff shortages and cut government spending, have put it under pressure. You’ll find eligibility requirements for care differ in other parts of the UK:

  • In Wales, anyone eligible for care at home only has to pay, at most, £100 a week.
  • In Northern Ireland, there is no cost of home care for anyone older than 75e.
  • In Scotland, free personal care is provided to anyone, whatever their age, assessed as needing support at home.
    • In Scottish care homes, people less than £18,000 worth of assets and savings can get free care.
    • Scots with savings and assets worth between £18,000 and £28,750 have to fund part of their care.
    • People with savings and assets worth £28,750 and up have to fund their own care but still receive a £193.50 weekly “allowance” specifically for your personal care, plus £87.10 weekly for your nursing care.

Do You Need Private Health Insurance?

If you don’t qualify for NHS treatment or if you just can’t wait for it, then private health insurance is definitely a valid personal choice. Private hospitals are often less congested and so doctors and nurses there will be able to give your more attentive care.

For some people in need of treatment, not covered by the NHS, private health insurance is the ideal solution.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance options give you the freedom to choose the level of care you receive. Just like national insurance, private medical insurance pays some or all your medical bills. Private medical insurance can be very expensive, so if you’d rather not use the NHS in favour of the treatment of your choice.

Shopping for private health insurance gives you a wider selection of insurance plans with different levels of coverage. The coverage of private health insurance will depend on the policy you buy and who you buy it from.

The more basic policies usually pick up the costs of most in-patient treatments like for surgeries and lab tests, while some policies extend to out-patient treatments. If you opt to stay in an NHS hospital instead of a private medical facility, some private health plans will pay you for every day of your hospital stay. Check here for more about what health insurance will and won’t cover.

How To Choose a Private Health Insurance Plan

The most reliable information you can get for choosing the right private health insurance will come from health insurance brokers, banks, and financial advisers. Even then, you’re best off getting 2nd opinions from more than one of them to help you discover which is best.

If you don’t want to ask for professional financial advice for choosing the best private health insurance provider, you can check out a health insurance comparison website.