Private health insurance may sound expensive, but it’s actually quite affordable for most UK citizens. Of course, there is the NHS: but some things are just better with private cover. Before considering a policy, take a look at the different types available to British residents.
If you live in the UK, getting private health insurance is highly recommended. Sometimes known as private medical insurance (PMI), it can provide faster access to quality medical treatment at various private hospitals across the country.
Of course, there isn’t only one kind of health cover: policies can often be quite different.
First Off: How private health insurance
To calculate premiums for private health insurance, providers need to take health and lifestyle into account. If you are healthy, you won’t generally pay much for medical coverage – but the older and unhealthier a person is, the higher their premiums are likely to be.
Examples include those who have a family history of genetic illnesses (cancer, heart disease, stroke) and individuals who smoke.
Health insurance providers then make a promise to pay for the costs of private medical treatment. However, this must be stated in the terms and conditions of the policy. Make sure you read it thoroughly before signing anything.
Afterwards, you can enjoy great peace of mind in knowing that you’ll quickly and effectively get the treatment you require.
Medical treatment can be extremely expensive. That’s why you need to understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy before you sign it. Terms and conditions are often complex – if you are uncertain, ask your provider for further explanation.
Private diagnostic health insurance
As an example, private diagnostic health insurance sets out to cover only the cost of finding the problem (i.e., providing a diagnosis). This differs from full health cover, which also covers the cost of medical treatment. As a result, a diagnostic policy has cheaper quotes and premiums than full health cover.
Full private health cover
Aside from diagnostic, there are three other types of private health insurance in the UK. These include individual private medical insurance, private medical insurance for the self-employed/small business and group cover. These “full” policies are obviously more expensive: quotes and premiums can also vary depending on a wide range of health and lifestyle factors.
Questions you must ask yourself before getting cover
To inform yourself better, answer the following questions. Remember, a private health insurance policy is there to give you faster access to medical treatment when you really need it.
- Can I afford the premiums? Note: They’re very likely rise the older you get.
- What costs are not covered by the policy? Make sure you know these beforehand!
- Are there any limits to the amount of health cover I’ll get?
- Will there be a wait before I’m able to claim?
- Must I pay everything up front and then claim costs or will the insurance company pay everything directly?
- Do I really need this policy or is there a company scheme that I can ask about? Quite a few businesses have things like health schemes for senior staff members or things like discounts if you take a policy with their provider.
What do these private health insurance policies cover?
Every single policy is different. When you look for quotes or do the research, you will find out more. Coverage will also be discussed at length and in detail, so you will have ample time to think about it and ask – the best place to look is in the health insurance policy’s sales brochure. With further questions, you simply need to ask.