Half of all over 60s are affected by hypertension*
Most find cover for the condition excluded from PMI policies
Hypertension (high blood pressure) will affect around 30% of all adults at some time in their lives and more than half of all people over 60* are diagnosed with the condition, which increases the risk of heart disease and strokes. Saga Private Medical Insurance has introduced the option for customers who suffer from hypertension to include cover for it within their PMI policies.**
This move comes at a time when the average NHS wait for inpatient heart treatment can take up to 13 weeks***, and many private medical insurers exclude hypertension cover for customers who already suffer from the condition when taking out a new policy.
With a long wait time for NHS treatment, it is understandable that people would prefer to be treated privately. However, traditionally this has meant either people remaining with their current provider and putting up with any premium increases that their insurer might impose, or swapping to another provider and having the condition excluded. But Saga has bucked the market and introduced optional cover for people with diagnosed hypertension - so the over 50s are now able to shop around for more competitive health insurance.
Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga, commented, 'Hypertension affects a great many people of all ages, particularly those aged 50 and over and, once diagnosed, most private medical insurers will exclude treatment for anything related to the condition on new health insurance policies. People should ensure that they have their blood pressure tested regularly so that the condition can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.'
To reduce the risk of hypertension in later life, people should eat a healthy diet, which is low in fat and salt and take regular exercise.
*Journal of human hypertension
**Hypertension cover is available for those who have been diagnosed and are taking medication to control the condition, it is not available to those who already suffer from diabetes, heart disease or have had a stroke.
***NHS hospital episode statistics
About Saga Private Medical Insurance
Saga offer three levels of Private Medical Insurance to suit different needs and budgets.
There are a range of options to reduce premiums
The Saga Directory of Hospitals offers a wide selection of nearly 300 private hospitals and NHS hospitals with Private Patient Units. In addition customers can also use a paybed at any NHS hospital.
All policyholders have access to the Saga Health Information Line, which provides free telephone access to a medical professional 24 hours a day 365 days a year
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.