A private medical insurance (PMI) policy is a great way to supplement your NHS cover. There are several reasons as to why you would require private medical cover.
• If you want to get a cover for treatment and drugs that are not accessible on the NHS plan. These treatments can be specialist surgeries such as sports-related injuries.
• You may also not want to make use of the NHS cover, you may prefer private care and treatment.
• If you prefer not to wait in long queues or even wait for sometime before getting treatment then private medical insurance is a great option. According to a report released by the Department of Health in 2012, NHS patients have to wait for an average of 8.1 weeks before getting treatment
If you have decided on getting a private cover then you are looking for a policy that allows you to make the most savings. Here are ways to maximize on your PMI cover.
Many insurers will include a no-claims offer on their policy. A no-claims discounts means that you get a discount if the cost of the claim you make is less than the premium paid for. You can also get a discount if you do not make a claim. However, as a policy holder, you should ensure that you do not forgo getting vital treatment so as to preserve the discount.
Downgrade your cover
If you are still largely happy with the NHS, you can consider a budget policy under PMI. A budget cover will apply if the treatment you want is not available on the NHS plan within a set period of time. There are insurers who will offer special discounts by slashing premiums by even up to 30 percent. The plans offered under this cover normally have a wait period of about 6 weeks. What this means is that if the NHS treatment tells you to wait for a period of more than 6 months, then the insurer will pay the cost for you to treated sooner than that.
Excesses on your PMI policy work the same way as car or home insurance. If you require private medical attention, you foot the excess amount and then the insurer covers the remaining cost. You need to read the policy document because different insurers will have different definitions and interpretations on excesses. Generally, the higher the excess amount, the lower the premium charged. There is normally a set maximum excess amount set by each insurer. For most companies, the maximum voluntary excess is £1,000. There are plans that will give higher excesses, however, the policy holder is expected to pay for any minor treatments under these schemes and the insurer will only provide coverage for serious illnesses.
If you are self employed and you are not under any employee health plan, you can team up with other self employed individuals and apply for a group medical scheme. You can save up to 50 percent on a group plan and still enjoy the benefits of a private cover.
Staying healthy can earn you discounts on your premiums. Most insurers will offer better premiums for non-smokers. The insurance market today has new products which differ from the traditional ones in the sense that they reward policy holders for keeping fit. If you are a non smoker who exercises and gets health examinations regularly then you can earn discounts of up to 50 percent on your premiums. Some plans will guarantee you a no-claims bonus of up to 25 percent.