This piece was written by Steve Dechan Everyone knows what it means to experience physical pain. But what is pain...
Compare Health Insurance From MediCompare
By working with several leading health insurers in the UK, we are delighted to help you find competitive quotes and policies to suit your needs. The main benefits of a private health coverage include:
Access to private consultant and hospital of your choice
Avoid lengthy NHS queues
Pick the level of cover you need
One of the most frustrating things about NHS treatment is that you sometimes have to wait weeks or months to be seen – and this is not ideal for something that is causing you pain. Furthermore, you may be appointed a consultant or doctor is located far away because that is the next person available – and this may not be convenient for you. In several cases, you will be required to travel several miles from home, incurring travel costs in the meantime.
But with private health insurance, you can be covered to see the exact specialist or consultant that you want to see and someone who is located near your home. Maybe your family member or friend has recommended someone who specialises in your area of pain – well, you can book an appointment to see them. Also, if there is a hospital or surgery round the corner from you, it makes sense to get an appointment from that clinic, rather than being assigned to an NHS hospital way across town.
The NHS waiting times and queues are not getting any better with patients waiting for weeks and months to be seen for toothache or back pain. But how can you live with this pain for so long?
With health insurance in place, you can see a private specialist on the same day or week so that you can get that pesky pain fixed in no time. Plus, it will be in a location much more convenient to you, giving you more control over your medical treatments.
Whilst cover might seem too expensive and unobtainable for many, the great thing is that you can pick the amount of cover you need and set your budget accordingly. If you find that you are in good health, you can always opt for less cover so that is it more affordable for you and your family.
Individual Health Insurance Plans, Families and Businesses
We are passionate about helping anyone find the best policy for their needs all genders, ages and health conditions. The products we offer extend far beyond just individual plans to also providing competitive rates for family plans under one policy and we have business health insurance plans available too to help you build a healthy and productive workforce.
Typically, the lowest premiums are available for healthy people and non-smokers because they have a reduced chance of making a claim. So eating healthy and keeping fit are going to help you keep your premiums down. Other clever ways to reduce the cost of your insurance include paying for your insurance in one annual lump sum instead of paying in monthly instalments, which can add an extra 20% charge to the bill. Whilst every policyholder must pay a compulsory excess, choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess can save hundreds off your policy as it considers that you are willing to cover more of the bill in the event that you need to claim.
What Is Included In Private Health Insurance From MediCompare?
The type of plans that are available vary significantly, from low-cost plans to zero-deductible full coverage plans. The following is usually included in a healthcare plan:
- Exclusive drugs – If your treatment needs drugs that are unavailable on the NHS, your policy may cover them if they have been approved by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
- Hospital stay and specific nursing care – In most policies you can expect your stay in hospital to be covered, along with any nursing care that is needed during your visit.
- Inpatient care – Inpatient treatment is when you need a hospital bed for the day and/or overnight. This will also include tests and surgery.
- Outpatient care – Outpatient care is when you do not need a hospital bed or your own room. In this case you might only be seeing a consultant, or having diagnostics. Policies with less cover may limit the amount of outpatient care available in your plan, so this could be capped.
- Some policies also offer:
- Private ambulances
- Nursing home care
- 24-hour help line
- Complementary therapies
- Private hotel rooms
- Accommodation of a relative or child is in hospital
What Is Not Included In Private Health Insurance?
Health insurance generally covers curable and short-term procedures, making it ideal for dental work, physiotherapy and optometry. However, it does not usually cover things that are are ongoing, long-term or chronic illnesses that are likely to reoccur or give you trouble for the rest of your life. Typical exclusions include asthma, kidney dialysis, colitis, arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy and allergy attacks. Similar chronic conditions not covered include those that have been the result of high risk activities such as extreme sports, lung disease caused by smoking, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Insurers will not tend to cover those surgeries and therapies used by individuals to enhance their physique or look such as face implants, hair transplant, botox or breast implants. The only reason that these might be covered is if they were part of reconstructive surgery or required for medical reasons e.g deviated septum, breathing issues or back pain.
Finally, policymakers will not cover pregnancies and childbirth costs. (Source: MoneyAdviceService)
Your medical insurance will not contribute towards any funeral or burial costs. For this, please see our partners and click here.
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What is Private Diagnostic Insurance?
This only covers the tests and treatments required to find out what is wrong with you and causing your symptoms. Once diagnosed, it will not cover you for any additional treatment required to fix or improve your health – as this will require a separate policy. It is a common misconception that private diagnostic insurance is cheaper, however, this is not always the case, so it is worth checking this with your insurer when you apply for a quote.
Would I Need Individual Health Insurance If My Company Provides It?
Private health insurance can help ‘top-up’ the difference between what your corporate insurance provides, and what you might personally need. Taking a close look at what your company provides will allow you to make sure you are covered for what counts. You can top-up your corporate plan to include:
- Dental insurance (see QAD)
- Maternity insurance
- Optical insurance
- Extreme sports insurance (skydiving, bungee jumping)
- Global travel insurance
Speak to a health insurance broker for more information.
I Have NHS Cover – Why Would I Need Private Cover?
The NHS has certain guidelines about what is covered, how long it takes to be seen, and the types of facilities available for treatment. Having private health insurance means that you can cover the gaps between what is needed in your personal situation, and what the NHS offers. Sometimes the NHS has the best option and your provider will recommend it at no extra cost.
What Are The Different Types of Cover?
Health insurance generally falls into two main categories.
- Fully underwritten insurance – insurers ask for a full medical history.
- Moratorium insurance – limited information about medical history.
A fully underwritten policy will generally give you wider coverage, but you will pay more for this. A moratorium policy will be cheaper but will come with complete, or ‘blanket’ exclusions on many pre-existing conditions.
On top of these two categories, many providers are now offering mix and match policies to make sure the policy is tailored to what you or your family needs. These modular policies help you save money in places that you don’t need cover, and help bolster cover where you do.
How Much Does Private Health Insurance Cost?
The average cost of private health insurance in the UK last year was £1,120 for a single year of coverage. Obviously, the price you pay will depend on the insurance provider and amount of cover you require. Young people without pre existing medical conditions and low claims history will be more likely to enjoy low insurance premiums, compared to much older applicants. A 33-year-old living in Oxford with a basic level of cover pays around £300 per year according to the four biggest insurers.
Most healthcare policies also have a tiered pricing structure and requesting treatment in the more expensive areas will hike up your costs. Therefore, you should consider how far you are willing to travel and avoid high tiers such as London if you want to save on costs.
What To Consider Before Applying with MediCompare
How much cover do you require? If you choose a very low cost or basic plan, then the chances are it may only pay hospital admission costs, and not out-patient costs used for things like physiotherapy or ear, nose and throat specialists.
Can you join with someone else? You can save a lot of money by combining your policy with someone else such as a spouse, sibling, family member or colleague. It is worth speaking to those around you to see if there is an opportunity to go in together.
What do I need cover for? It may not be worthwhile spending up to £1,000 on cover if you feel that you are in good health. Instead, you may be better applying for a specific plan which allows you to pay tiny amounts of £10, £50 or £100 and then spend up to 6 times the value on routine procedures like dental, physio and eye appointments. This could be far more cost-effective and it allows you to skip the queues and still go the private route for your treatments.