NHS income protection, there now there’s a niche subject! No one is more aware of the impact that ill health and injury can have on people’s lives than medical professionals – and NHS workers, including doctors and nurses, aren’t immune to accidents and illness themselves!
This is why protecting your income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury is so important – especially for those who dedicate their lives to looking after the health of others.
In this article, I’m going to be looking at Income Protection policies for NHS workers.
Why do NHS workers need Income Protection? What additional benefits are there for those who work in the NHS? How does Income Protection work? And how much can NHS workers expect to pay in Income Protection Insurance premiums.
What Is Income Protection For NHS Workers?
Income Protection is a type of insurance that provides a replacement income (between 50% and 70% of your gross earnings) if you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness, accident or injury.
In order to take out an Income Protection policy for NHS workers you must work in a role that is covered by NHS sick pay.
This includes doctors, nurses, GP’s, surgeons and dentists.
You must be registered (either fully or provisionally) with the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, or the General Dental Council, and be licensed to practise in the UK.
Do NHS Workers Need Income Protection If They’re Receiving NHS Sick Pay?
So, you’re an NHS worker and you’ve had to take some time off sick.
You don’t have Income Protection – but that’s ok, because you’ll get sick pay, right?
Well, yes, but the amount of sick pay you’ll receive as an NHS worker will depend on how long you have been in service.
Currently, the maximum amount of sick pay paid out by the NHS is 6 months at half pay, and 6 months at full pay for people who have worked in the NHS for 6 years or more.
An Income Protection Policy is still well worth having though, no matter how long you have been an NHS worker.
Income Protection Insurance doesn’t start paying out until you stop receiving sick pay. This period of time is known as the ‘deferred period’.
The longer the deferred period, in other words, the longer you can go before you need your Income Protection policy to start paying out, the cheaper your monthly premiums will be.
You can find out more about sick pay for NHS workers by following this link below:
How Long Should Income Protection Pay Out For?
Some NHS workers will want their Income Protection policy to cover them up until retirement.
Of course, this will mean more expensive premiums than a ‘short term’ Income Protection policy that might payout for 1, 2 or 5 years, for example.
Cheaper, yes, but you might not be adequately covered if you were to suffer from a long-term illness.
How Much Are Income Protection Insurance Premiums For NHS Workers?
Policy types and benefits will vary depending on what your role is within the NHS.
(You can find out specifically about Income Protection for doctors and surgeons by clicking on this link: https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk/income-protection-insurance-for-doctors-and-surgeons-2/ )
For example, a lot of Income Protection policies will exclude HIV in the illnesses that they cover.
However, specialist Income Protection policies for nurses often have a clause that will guarantee to pay out if you were to contract the illness through a needle stick injury while at work.
Your monthly Income Protection Insurance premiums will vary too depending on whether you choose a reviewable premium, a guaranteed premium or an age-banded premium.
Wondering what on earth the difference is?
Wonder no more…
1. Reviewable premiums are not based on your age or health. Instead they are based on economic factors such as the number of claims made, and can be increased by your insurer throughout the term of your policy)
Reviewable premiums are cheaper than guaranteed premiums, but they can rise over time and make it difficult to budget for it each month.
2. Guaranteed premiums are a better option if you’re worried that the rising cost of premiums could lead to you having to cancel your policy.
Guaranteed premiums do exactly what they say; once they are set they are guaranteed to not increase.
However, it’s worth knowing that guaranteed premiums will cost you more per month than reviewable or age-banded premiums.
It does work out more cost-effective in the long run though if you’re planning on keeping your Income Protection Insurance policy until you retire.
3. Age-banded premiums rise each year as you get older, and the risk of you falling ill increases.
What Isn’t Covered By An Income Protection Policy For NHS Workers?
Income protection policies won’t pay out when it comes to self-inflicted injuries, or illnesses and injuries caused by the misuse of alcohol or drugs – and that stands whether you are an NHS worker or not.
Existing medical conditions might also be excluded, but remember that policy exclusions will be dealt with on a case by case basis, so you’re best bet (with all types of insurance!) is to be honest and thorough when you apply for your policy, and go from there.
Income Protection policy exclusions won’t necessarily be permanent. If you can’t get cover because of a current medical condition, an insurer may well remove the exclusion if you make a full recovery or have not needed treatment or had symptoms for a specified period of time.
Whether you are an NHS worker or not, I would always recommend speaking to the experts before taking out any type of insurance policy. At More Than Money we have access to insurers you might not be aware of, including those not available on price comparison websites. We can help you to find the best deal to suit you and your needs, so that you can carry on being the hero you are.