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The NHS provides free, universal healthcare to everyone living in the UK, and usually delivers world-class treatment if you become ill or have an accident. It’s a great reassurance to know that, no matter your age, stage in life or background, you can get free, quality care.
However, the NHS is not without weaknesses. In recent years, budget cuts and pressure on doctors – as well as a growing population – has meant that waiting lists for certain treatments are getting longer. Hospitals are stretched, and sometimes unable to cope with the amount of people seeking medical care.
Private medical insurance, put simply, offers you quick access to eligible health treatment, from seeing a specialist for diagnosis to having a comfortable stay while you’re in hospital.
One of the benefits of private health insurance is once you have a GP referral you can choose who to see and where to go, from a list of approved specialists and hospitals, making sure you get the treatment you need, when and where you want it. Whether that’s close to family or near work, you have the flexibility to manage your health around your timetable.
What does it cover?
Like all insurance, the cover you get from private medical insurance depends on the policy you buy.
Basic private medical insurance usually picks up the costs of most in-patient treatments (tests and surgery) and day-care surgery.
Some policies extend to out-patient treatments (such as specialists and consultants) and might pay you a small fixed amount for each night you spend in an NHS hospital.
What is not covered?
Your healthcare insurance usually won’t cover private treatment for:
You might be able to choose a policy which covers mental health, depression and sports injuries but these aren’t always covered.
How do I choose which health insurance cover is best for me?
There is a wide range of cover available. Some people decide to opt for comprehensive cover, whereas others choose just to cover themselves in one or two main areas.
Your choice depends on a number of factors including your budget, whether you want an excess, if you would like to include outpatient costs such as x-rays and blood tests, and which hospitals you would require access to. Always remember to speak to a potential insurer about any health queries, which might impact your cover or anyone in your family that you are covering on your policy.
Making sure you have considered these factors in depth can make sure that you get the right policy for you, your family and your budget.
If you need help with your Private Medical Insurance or have any questions please contact us.