By Farooq Ahmed Farid | 14 Jul 2021

Does a private health plan only cover your physical health?

There is much to consider when searching for a private health plan. Your primary concerns are likely what's covered and how you can make the most of your plan.

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What are your priorities when looking for a private health plan?

Whether you’re looking for international health insurance or something closer to home, you might find yourself considering things like:

On top of these considerations, you will also be thinking about things like how affordable a health plan is, how you will deal with any plan exclusions if they’re relevant to you, and the level of deductible you’re comfortable with.

You might even be questioning whether you need a private health plan at all!

Are health plans only for physical health and injuries?

The healthcare industry is continuously evolving, with tech and innovations at the forefront of the latest treatments and procedures. The same is true of health insurance, too! Private health plans are continually evolving to provide better value to plan holders and encourage them to buy, renew, or upgrade their health plans.

One of the most significant changes in the health insurance niche in recent years has been moving away from plans exclusively covering physical health and injuries.

Traditionally, a private health plan would have covered illnesses and injuries incurred in most circumstances and might have included benefits like an annual medical check-up or review. Your annual medical review may even have influenced your premium for the next year, depending on your insurer!

Private health plans don’t look like this anymore.

Many health insurers are now taking a bigger picture view of health and recognising the need to support members' overall well-being. As such, features and benefits addressing these are becoming more commonplace in private health plans.

How might your private health plan cover help you manage your well-being?

There are many ways your health insurer can assist you in managing and improving your overall well-being. Most insurers are proactive about doing so, too! After all, the healthier you are, the less likely you are to make a claim causing your insurer to make a payout!

Best of all, you usually won’t have to pay for these benefits, although this will depend on your insurer and the specifics of the plan you buy.

By providing guidance and resources related to your general well-being

Whenever you take out a private health plan, you will receive documentation in the form of a member’s handbook and potentially additional health guides. In addition, most health insurers provide a free blog or resources section on their website and increasingly focus on holistic well-being within the content they publish.

Specific features within your cover

When shopping around for a private health plan, look out for brochures and other materials that highlight what you get from your plan.

For example, here at Now Health International, all such documents are available for you to read in our document library.

When searching for a health plan, you'll likely find that more and more providers offer cover for mental health conditions. The types of cover may differ, too. You may be able to get cover for everything from appointments with psychiatrists and counsellors to medication and even hospital admission as an inpatient to deal with mental health issues.

One of the most significant quirks of mental health is that we often never know we need assistance until the realisation suddenly hits us. So while you might never use your plan to seek help or treatment around your mental health, it might be better to have it available for your peace of mind.

Added value services, such as a Member Assistance Programme

On top of features that are built into your cover, many health insurance providers now provide “added value services.” These typically don’t influence the cost of your health plan and are sometimes delivered in conjunction with a third-party vendor or partner.

Added value services can assist with various parts of your life, such as travel. However, there is an increasing focus on providing accessible services that help you manage and maintain your overall well-being.

What this looks like will vary by health plan provider and their approach to supporting members’ overall well-being. For example, at Now Health International, we offer a member assistance programme so our members can access services such as telephone and video counselling, financial and legal advice, and family support.

Such services being part of your health plan give you added peace of mind that you have help at hand in any situation wherever you are in the world!

Find a health plan that covers your overall well-being and not just your physical health!

Private health plans are increasingly moving away from being somewhat one dimensional in the cover they offer. Instead of "only" covering you for physical health issues like injuries and illness, health plans are now typically a wider-reaching product that will consider and help you look after your health and well-being as a whole.

If you're looking for a private health plan, look out for the plan benefits and added value services to assist you in doing exactly that!

By Farooq Ahmed Farid

Farooq is a qualified actuary, a risk & underwriting management professional, strategist and data scientist. During his career, Farooq has been instrumental in helping to develop international best practices across underwriting, technical pricing, actuarial, analytics, product development, risk management, reinsurance, and business intelligence in order to implement successful strategic business plans.

See Farooq Ahmed Farid's profile