Even though a majority of UK residents get free healthcare from the National Health Service, private health insurance is fast gaining popularity these days. For individuals, it spells better healthcare options and for business owners, it brings the opportunity to reduce the employee downtime to a minimum. But before you sign on the dotted line, it is better to know some key facts about private healthcare insurance. Here are some facts listed for you.
What is private health insurance?
Also known as private medical insurance (PMI), this is the insurance that is taken for covering the cost of diagnosis and treatment of acute medical conditions. At the same time, it is important to understand that private health insurance is not an alternative to NHS, rather complements it. A basic health problem still starts with NHS but a private insurance policy steps in if you are referred for specialist consultation for diagnosis or treatment of a suspected chronic condition.
What all does it cover?
Like any other type of insurance, the coverage you get from a private medical insurance depends completely on the policy you take. A basic one will usually cover the cost of in-patient treatments including the tests and surgery as well as day-care surgery. Some policies may cover out-patient treatments from consultants and specialists and even pay you a specific amount for every night spent in an NHS hospital.
What all is not covered?
If you want to learn more about our private health insurance, you will definitely want to know all that is not covered under it. Typically, the following will not come under the coverage of a private policy:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Cosmetic surgery
- Organ transplants
- Normal pregnancy and childbirth cost
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and AIDS-related diseases
- Injuries related to war and dangerous sports
You may choose a policy that offers coverage for depression, mental illnesses, and sports injuries but these are generally not covered.
Do I really need it?
Another fact about private health insurance that would get you thinking is whether you really need it. This is a matter of personal choice because you have access to NHS anyways. However, private insurance is recommended if you would rather not wait for NHS treatment or would prefer to get treated from a private hospital. Further, it would be a feasible option if you want coverage for treatments that you cannot get on the NHS.
Who does not need it?
Private medical insurance is not needed if you are willing to rely on the NHS for treatment and care. Also, those who already have medical insurance as a part of employee benefits package may skip it. Further, you need not take one if you have sufficient funds or savings to access treatment for an unforeseen health condition in the future.
Private health insurance is an additional cover that provides for treatment and care over and above that offered by the NHS. So if you can afford one, it would be wise to take a policy.