Residents of the UK who do not want to use free health care services can take out private insurance which grants them more control over the level of care, how and when it is provided. Citizens can choose from different covers at different premium rates to access a variety of services. Basic PMI plans cover nursing, consultations, surgery, and other essential treatments excluding drug addictions and terminal conditions for which people need comprehensive private medical insurance.
NHS is a great service but people often have to contend with waiting lists when they need medical services. Private medical insurance removes this problem and means you can be referred to faster, more convenient care. The private insurers provide people with a list of hospitals they can go to depending on their preferred policy.
Types of private medical insurance (PMI) plans
- Fully underwritten plans require people to reveal their entire medical history in order to establish what will and what will not be covered.
- Moratoriums are covers that generally exclude pre-existing conditions that patients have had for a defined period. This makes them cheaper but it is no help for people who have suffered any long lasting health problems.
Private medical insurance cost
People who choose to cover their health should be ready to incur various costs to ensure the best care whenever the need arises. Health insurance premiums differ according to several factors including the facilities one would like, age, whether or not they smoke and their health status. You need to budget for the premium payments which tend to rise with medical costs. Premiums are highest for people who require a lot of outpatient care. Insurance companies give attractive discounts to clients who can pay the entire annual premiums upfront and some also provide a 'no-claims' bonus as a reward for staying in good health. This reward shouldn't be a reason to avoid seeking medical assistance.
Some employers provide medical insurance as rewards to good workers but you need to remember that is not totally free because you have to pay about 20% of the actual fee in form of tax on the value of the benefits. Employer PMI schemes are deemed more flexible than individual plans as they cover pre-existing conditions but don't be too excited as you will have to pay the premiums independently once you retire. You can make your private insurance cheaper by choosing to make out of pocket payments on excess.
The biggest limitation of health insurance is that they usually cover only diseases that affect you after taking out the policy. It is unlikely for health insurance companies to cover long-term illnesses, normal pregnancy treatments and cosmetic procedures. This makes it important to clarify exactly what a particular insurer covers before taking out a policy with them.
Making a claim is easy as you only need to contact your provider every time you want to see a health specialist. This is important to avoid problems in case there are any changes to the policy. You will not access any funds when you make a claim as the private healthcare bills will be settled directly by the insurer. Some people prefer private insurers that guarantee them private rooms as opposed to beds in open wards. Private insurance is a chance for people to enjoy cover that is not provided on NHS.
Private medical insurance is not mandatory but it certainly has many advantages over the traditional way. If it fits you budget by all means take out a private insurance policy that will guarantee superior medical services in the best facilities of your liking.