Can I still use the NHS if I have private health insurance?

Using the NHS with medical insurance

Yes. Private medical insurance is designed to supplement the services offered by the NHS, not to replace them. After you have seen your GP and you are referred to a specialist you would ordinarily then speak to your PMI provider about making a claim. When your claim is approved you could then use private services for your treatment.

Depending on the level of cover provided by your health insurance policy, you may have to use the NHS for a greater part of the process. Some basic private medical insurance policies only cover in-patient treatment and so you may have to use the NHS for your initial consultations, diagnosis and scans.

In some cases, the NHS may be able to treat you straight away and you may elect to use their services rather than claiming on your health insurance policy. However, don’t be afraid to use your policy otherwise you could be wasting money by paying the premiums. Consumer champion Which? have expressed concerns that some health insurance policyholders aren’t claiming on their PMI simply to preserve their no-claims discount.

In addition, there are certain situations where your private medical insurance won’t cover you and you will have to use NHS services. These may include:

  • GP services
  • Accident and emergency services
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes
  • Organ transplant
  • Gender reassignment
  • Treatment for pre-existing conditions excluded by your PMI policy
  • Infertility
  • Cosmetic treatment
  • Dental treatment
  • Laser eye surgery (for cosmetic reasons)

Briggs & Butler can help you find the right PMI cover. Complete our online form today and we’ll connect you with a specialist, FSA regulated health insurance expert who will compare PMI prices and policies for you.

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