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It’s Time to Compare Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance plans provide you with access to private hospitals for quicker treatment. If you have private medical cover, you do not have to wait in a queue to get treatment for yourself unlike the NHS where you are put on the waiting list.

Private health insurance can be expensive depending on what health cover you require for example; If you are adding pre-existing medical conditions or add family members on your cover, it can get more expensive.

Comparing Health Insurance Quotes

Are you currently paying too much or want to get a quote for a new policy? With just a few clicks you could be comparing the best health insurance policies available to you from major providers.

Health insurance can supplement the NHS and offer you extra services and helps you skip NHS waiting lists to get treatment quicker in private facilities and NHS hospitals.

Get a guaranteed appointment with a top consultant as well as expert advice. This can be a face to face appointment or a video call over the internet to ensure it is convenient for you.

What is Health Insurance?

Health Insurance covers the cost of private medical treatment for any non-existing acute conditions you may suffer in the future - this can be something simple like a physio appointment or something more serious like a heart attack or cancer. People buy health insurance so they will not have to wait on the NHS waiting list. You would be able to choose where and when the treatment would take place and the specialist you would like to treat you. Some things are not covered though, including pre-existing medical conditions, GP services, cover for incurable illness and accident and emergency admissions.

What is Budget Cover?

Budget level health insurance can provide cover for hospital treatment for in-patient procedures such as surgery, radiotherapy and depending on your cover, chemotherapy. These policies will cover your treatment in a private hospital, it might also cover cancer treatment for up to one year and cover any costs related to transport in a private ambulance. With some policies they might offer an NHS cash benefit if treatment is taken in an NHS hospital instead of a private hospital.

What is Standard Cover?

Mid-range level policies will cover you for most hospital fees and in some cases, specialist fees as well. In most cases, this level will offer the same benefits as the basic level cover but with added extras - this will differ per insurer but tends to also include outpatient services. In a lot of cases, mid-range cover provides more prompt treatment, including access to specialists, access to private treatment and cover for use for consultant appointments. Some policies will also include diagnostic tests, parental accommodation if your child is sick and major dental expenses may also be covered under such policies.

Do I need it?

It is very much a personal decision; many people have previously had health insurance as a benefit with an employer and want to continue the protection when they no longer have it. But the NHS is extremely good so it is not essential, but having private cover can sometimes open up certain treatments or drugs that are not available on the NHS and can help you be seen significantly quicker in some cases.

Should I get health insurance for my child?

Again, this is personal choice, most insurers offer competitive price to add a child to your policy, but generally speaking, children take priority on the NHS and the specialist children’s hospitals and wards mean it is not normally required. Also, services are limited to very young children as the private hospitals do not have the specialists to treat children.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HAVING PRIVATE MEDICAL INSURANCE?

  • No need to follow lengthy NHS queues
  • Free to choose your own hospital and consultant
  • Your own en-suite or special room in hospital
  • Wide range of medication or treatment offered by the private hospital

HOW DO I CLAIM ON MY HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY?

To claim on your policy, you should follow the 5 easy steps below

  • Visit your GP and get a referral to see a specialist.
  • Contact your insurer and register your claim
  • Verify the cover to your insurer
  • Your GP will transfer you to a hospital of your choice and a specialist will treat you.
  • Fill out all mandatory forms requested by your insurer.

Type of health insurance

1. Family Health Insurance

One private medical cover policy for the whole family, which means you are only paying one monthly premium. It will pay out when any of your family members need medical treatment or assistance.

2. Individual or Joint Health Cover

If you only need individual medical cover then it will provide cover only for you. If you take out a joint insurance policy, it will cover you and your partner for private health care. You or your partner might have individual health insurance through your employers so make sure you check this before taking out another insurance policy.

3. Dental Insurance

Dental cover can help you cover the cost of any dental treatment carried out by private dental hospitals or through the NHS. With dental insurance you are required to pay upfront for any treatment you need and then claim back all of the costs from your dental insurance provider.

4. Cash Plan Health Care

It means you are paying monthly premium and if you had any health treatment you need to keep a copy of your costs. Your insurance provider will ask you to send all medical cost receipts to them so they can reimburse you.

5. International Health Care

As the name suggests, International health care will provide protection for you and your family while you are away. Before going abroad, you should check with your health cover provider whether they cover the country you are visiting.

What is Covered by a Private Medical Cover Plan?

  • Outpatient care (overnight stays covered)
  • In-patient care and treatments
  • Health checks, surgery and tests
  • Cash benefit – if you are treated in NHS facilities
  • Wigs and prosthetics

What’s not covered by private medical cover not cover?

To claim on your policy, you should follow the 5 easy steps below

  • NHS GP services
  • Emergency and accident admissions
  • Chronic illness and conditions
  • Infertility
  • Drug abuses
  • Injuries caused by you
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Mobility related aids

How does private health insurance work?

To receive private treatment, you simply need to take a few steps:

  • First visit your GP and let them know that you have private medical care insurance.
  • Should treatment be required, your GP will transfer you to a hospital of your choice.
  • You should then inform the insurance company of the claim on the policy and to verify the cover.
  • Once approval is provided by the insurer to the GP, the GP will book the appointment with the specialist, the costs will be paid by the insurer.

Please note, health insurance cover doesn’t include emergencies, so you should still go to the Accident and Emergency unit as per usual. Once your health is stable, the cover can be provided for further treatment.

Types of Health Insurance Policies

There are effectively 3 different types of options, namely, Budget, Mid-range and Comprehensive cover.

Budget: Cheapest of the 3, budget insurance only covers in-patient and day-patient treatments. It will also have an upper limit on the amount of claim that can be made.

Mid-range: In most cases, mid-range policies cover in-patient, day-patient and some certain outpatient treatments. For a good level of cover at an affordable price, mid-range is a good option.

Comprehensive: The most expensive of the 3 types of policies, comprehensive cover includes full in-patient, day-patient and outpatient cover, with other extra benefits like free therapy sessions.

Types of Health Insurance Policies

There are effectively 3 different types of options, namely, Budget, Mid-range and Comprehensive cover.

Budget: Cheapest of the 3, budget insurance only covers in-patient and day-patient treatments. It will also have an upper limit on the amount of claim that can be made.

Mid-range: In most cases, mid-range policies cover in-patient, day-patient and some certain outpatient treatments. For a good level of cover at an affordable price, mid-range is a good option.

Comprehensive: The most expensive of the 3 types of policies, comprehensive cover includes full in-patient, day-patient and outpatient cover, with other extra benefits like free therapy sessions.

Factors that affect the premium of my health insurance cover

There are many factors which can reduce and increase the premiums you are paying. For example, some insurers offer discounts to buyers who are fit and exercise regularly, but those who are currently in poor health with a medical history will see an increase. Much like life insurance, if you are a smoker, you will also see a significant change in the premiums.

Are there ways to reduce my premiums?

Without having to sacrifice on the cover you want, there are a few ways in which you can make your policy more affordable.

Six Week Option: If the treatment you require is available within 6 weeks of you requiring it, then you would be treated by them. However, if It is longer, then you can rely on your policy to get immediate treatment.

Co-Payment: If you are willing to pay a pre-agreed percentage of your claim, then your premiums will reduce as you now carry some of the insurer’s risk.

Excess: When buying your policy, you have the opportunity to increase the voluntary excess level. The excess is the about of money you are willing to put forward when you make the claim, so if you increase this amount then you would get cheaper premium quotes.

Hospital Option Reduction: By reducing the amount of hospitals at your disposal, you effectively decrease your cover slightly and because of this, cheaper premiums are available. If you know there are hospitals which you almost certainly wouldn’t be requiring then you can reduce the list.

Are pre-existing medical conditions covered by the policy?

Health insurance covers you for conditions that take place once you have actually purchased the insurance. However, depending on which one of the 3 underwriting options you select, you could cover pre-existing conditions in the future.

Moratorium: Policies that are moratorium will not include conditions that took place in the last 5 years. Nonetheless, should you have no treatment, symptoms or advice on the condition for the first 2 years of the policy, then you can get cover for these conditions again.

Full Medical Underwriting / FMU: FMU policies will require you to submit a full medical history and usually the pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Switch Underwriting: This allows the policy holder to change the insurance provider without a decrease in the level of cover. The premiums are likely to change and it is recommended that holders review their options every year to ensure a good deal.

Health Insurance Frequently asked questions

Health insurance is also frequently referred to as private medical insurance (PMI). It provides cover for the cost of private medical treatment for injuries and illnesses that are curable and short term.

The extent of the cover you get will depend on the type of policy you take out, together with the amount of your monthly premium. Some things to check for inclusion are:

  • Outpatient or clinic treatment
  • In-patient hospital treatment
  • Day-patient treatment

You apply for health insurance with one of the many providers in the UK. Once your application is received, the insurance company will ask you to get a medical or send a medical report and also checks proof of residence and other verification details.

Once they are through with things, they do a risk benefits analysis test and then design premiums for the prospective policyholder. Once you purchase the policy from the insurer, you are liable to pay the premiums on a monthly basis to maintain the validity of the policy.

Now, if you suspect some signs of illness then you should go to your GP who can recommend you to a specialist if needed. After the treatment, you need to pay the expenses at the private hospital.

Following this, if you are planning to make a claim then you need to inform the insurance company. The company will pay full or partial expenses depending on the type of insurance policy you have taken.

A point that needs to be noted here is that health insurance cover will not support medical emergencies. For this, you still need to depend on Accident and Emergency with the NHS. Once your health becomes stable, your insurance will cover your expenses for the private treatments.

  • Peace of mind
  • Avoid NHS waiting lists
  • You can choose hospitals and consultants
  • It covers out-patient care, in-patient care along with surgeries
  • Hospital accommodation and nursing care
  • Covers expenses incurred for medicines, routine tests and vaccinations
  • Psychological care and treatment (this can vary with the insurance providers and not all policies include this as a part of their basic cover)
  • It is a well-planned financial arrangement for the health care of the policyholder

The gain to you as a private patient will depend on your policy but typical inclusions are:

  • A private room for your hospital stay, often with an en-suite bathroom.
  • You can be seen promptly
  • Television in your hospital room
  • Access to a wider range of treatments than the NHS might offer.

A number of factors may affect the cost such as:

  • Level of cover offered
  • The type of policy
  • Individual situations

The most common scenarios that are not covered are:

  • Injuries from self-harming
  • Infertility
  • Drug abuse
  • Alcoholic abuse
  • Mobility equipment
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Preventative treatment
  • Organ Transplant
  • Normal Pregnancy
  • kidney dialysis
  • Cosmetic Surgery to improve the look

Factors affecting the insurance premium includes:

  • Current health of the policy holder
  • Medical history
  • Smoking status
  • Age

Health insurance is categorised into two types:

Indemnity: These policies cover you for any kind of private medical treatment, be it for a long-term illness or a short-term injury. The cover also offers finances for facilities like private room, surgeons and the fees of the specialist. It covers both inpatient and outpatient treatments and expenses which includes physiotherapy and diagnostic procedures.

Cash Plan: This kind of cover facilitates you with lump-sum money for situations that may not be included in Indemnity policy. It pays you 100% cost of the treatment taken. Generally, these are smaller procedures like optical treatment, dental appointment or a single day stay at the NHS hospital. For this, the customer needs to pay a monthly premium. Whenever they need treatment, they need to pay the medical bill and send the receipt to the insurer. The amount paid by you for the treatment or medial appointment would be reimbursed by the insurer.

Compare PMI (private medical insurance) plans and choose the most relevant plan from top rated providers. There are many who offer discount schemes so that your policy becomes an affordable bet. Don’t worry as the discounted policy will leave your cover unaffected. You will still enjoy all the benefits.

Yes, they may well be. Normally, they vary along with your increasing age and chances of making a claim. The amount of variation will depend on the insurer and the policy. So, the best way to check is to review the policy on a yearly basis. By this you can figure out any changes in the payments to make sure you get the insurance at lowest prices.

Yes, you can change the provider and not lose the cover if you have chosen a ‘switch’ underwriting.

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