The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Seven steps to re­duc­ing the costs of health­care

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1 ADD an ex­cess. By adding or in­creas­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to any claim, pre­mi­ums can fall by 20 per cent or more. Other op­tions in­clude shared re­spon­si­bil­ity plans where you pay a per­cent­age of any claim, up to a limit.

CON­SIDER self-fund­ing for smaller claims. This can pre­vent pre­mi­ums be­ing hiked later and pro­tect any no claims dis­counts.

CHOOSE a ‘six-week

op­tion’ plan. This re­duces a pre­mium by up to 25 per cent but will pro­vide im­me­di­ate treat­ment if it is not avail­able on the NHS within six weeks.

RE­MOVE non­core op­tions such as ther­apy, out­pa­tient ben­e­fits or in­ter­na­tional cover. Find out what help you can get from your lo­cal NHS and then ex­clude this from cover.

LOOK at friendly so­ci­ety style plans, such as those from WPA, Ex­eter and CS Health­care.

They may be more ex­pen­sive at the start but of­fer some pre­mium sta­bil­ity as they do not rise due to claims ex­pe­ri­ence – al­though they do rise with age.

IF mar­ried and only one of you has pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, look at sep­a­rate providers.

CHECK affin­ity groups. Some of­fer pre­mium dis­counts to groups such as farm­ers or civil ser­vants – though th­ese are start­ing to dis­ap­pear for older mem­bers.

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