Despite the fact that here in the UK we are fortunate enough to have an extensive and inclusive national health service, some of us look to the private sector to take care of our health issues. This is for a number of reasons – perhaps we are seeking a service not available on the NHS, perhaps we are not satisfied with the cleanliness or efficiency of public hospitals – whatever the reason, it is wise to seek health insurance if this is the case.
As private medical insurance is less commonly sought in the UK than elsewhere in the world, it can be hard to source unbiased information regarding the buying process. Here, we take a look at a few things which you ought to consider when choosing private medical insurance.
Is private cover right for you?
Before taking the plunge, it is important to consider whether or not private health insurance is right for you. While the cost of insurance may seem insignificant when compared to the costs of paying for treatment, it is important to remember that most necessary healthcare can be obtained free of charge from the NHS. For this reason, private health insurance is only advisable for those who feel they can afford the cost.
Another thing to consider at this stage is whether you are entitled to health cover through your employment. Employers often offer health insurance packages entitling you to treatment at private hospitals. If you are entitled to health cover, do your best to investigate the extent of this and judge whether or not it is sufficient for you. Bear in mind that, while it may be paid for by your employer, you will still be liable to pay tax on the benefit’s value.
The devil is in the detail Everybody’s health needs are different and that’s why it is important for you to check the parameters of any insurance policy to see exactly what is, and isn’t, covered. You will need to make the decision between a fully underwritten policy and a moratorium. If you choose to opt for a moratorium (which will usually cost you a little less money), you need to ensure that you are either in good health or that you are aware of any ailments you currently have.
Paying for a thorough checkup which allows you to be honest with your insurers during the early stages is a solid investment which you cannot afford to overlook. Whether you do this with the NHS or private clinics at your own cost, is your decision.
Consider taking steps to improve your health If you are intent on receiving private health insurance but are worried about the costs, it can pay to be aware of the contributing factors. Simply stopping smoking or increasing the amount of exercise that you do could well see the bills for your policy fall by a considerable amount. Not to mention the benefits you’ll feel to your health.
It is important that you take care of your health at every opportunity and that means adapting your lifestyle and seeking the best possible care if you should contract an illness or injury. Choosing to go private can have numerous benefits – including improved quality of care and more extensive aftercare options – and is certainly worth considering.