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Is Private Health Insurance Worth It?

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The NHS provides free healthcare to the majority of UK people. Yet, many individuals purchase private medical insurance, which covers the price of treatment by private healthcare providers. Before you get private health insurance, you should learn how it works, when it’s a good idea, its benefits and drawbacks, and a few other details that we will cover.

The purpose of medical insurance is to cover the expense of private medical care for acute illnesses. Medical Insurance may step in to treat you privately, depending on your health.

This provides better facilities, more personalized care, and the most cutting-edge medical therapy available.

What is covered by private health insurance?

Private health insurance pays for medical care for critical illnesses with the exception of chronic diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, and heart disease, which are long-term illnesses that are sometimes incurable. It is more focused on acute illnesses that arise abruptly and with reversible symptoms. Broken bones, burns, the flu, heart attacks, and pneumonia are just a few examples.

The degree of coverage you acquire, though, will be determined by the specific private health insurance you pick; for example, there may be some that will just provide basic medical treatment, while others may provide you with referrals to specialists.

Every policy may be classified into one of three groups:

  • Basic: This covers any inpatient treatment. This means anything that entails that a patient would need a hospital bed or an overnight stay.
  • Mid-range: At this level of care, both inpatient and outpatient care is provided. However, there will be limited outpatient coverage and can vary between covering all diagnostic tests and scans completely or just covering a portion of them. The number of consultations you may claim per year is also limited.
  • Comprehensive: This covers everything basic and mid-range coverage has, and its major distinction is that it does not limit outpatient care.

You can also obtain additional options in your health insurance if they aren’t already covered in your policy. Some examples of what you can add are mental health care or a private GP.

What isn’t covered by private health insurance?

While private health insurance has good coverage, there are still a few pre-existing medical conditions that are not covered, including:

  • Chronic Diseases: Treatment for incurable illnesses such as HIV, diabetes, and certain malignancies is not covered.
  • Emergency Treatment: The NHS is responsible for the majority of these services.
  • Elective Treatment: This refers to procedures that you don’t require but desire, such as plastic surgery.
  • Specified Problems: Some lifestyle problems necessitate certain treatments that others might not get, such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
  • Overseas Treatment: If you are someone who travels abroad often, you should consider that in the case of an emergency, this is usually covered by your travel insurance. Otherwise, you may need to obtain specialized insurance.
  • Pregnancy Care Although certain unforeseen problems may be covered, you will usually have to pay extra for pregnancy care.

How much does private health insurance cost on average?

The cost of private health insurance premiums average about £1,500 per year. This equates to around £125 each month, although many individuals pay significantly less. The amount you pay is determined by your insurer, the coverage provided by your insurance, and your personal circumstances and present health.

If you’re less likely to fall ill and need medical treatment, insurers may give you lower premiums.

Some of the elements that influence the cost of private health insurance are as follows:

  • The number of individuals covered: There are plans for individuals, families, and couples, and the kind of coverage determines the cost. Depending on the conditions of each individual, it may be more cost-effective to have single insurance rather than several policies.
  • Age: The older you become, the more likely you are to file a claim on your insurance, resulting in higher premiums.
  • Medical Background: Pre-existing conditions aren’t generally covered, but any conditions you have might indicate that you’re at risk of getting new ones. Your insurance rates may rise as a result of this.
  • Family History: If members of your family have suffered from major illnesses, it’s possible that you may as well, making insurance more costly.
  • Way of Life: The kind of lifestyle you lead is a factor in this. Smoking, drinking, and your weight may all have an impact on the amount you spend.
  • Residential Area: It may seem unfair, but some parts of the nation are associated with specific medical problems, while others have greater private care costs. Something as seemingly little as your postcode might result in higher premiums for private medical insurance.

The average cost of common procedures in private healthcare

Cataract surgery for one eye: £2,513

Chemotherapy: £30,000

Gallbladder removal: £6,000

Having a pacemaker fitted: £5,000

Hernia repair: £2,500

Hip replacement: £12,857

Knee replacement: £13,067

Slipped disc removal on lower back: £8,093

Wisdom tooth removal: £2,087

Does the cost of private medical insurance go up?

Typically, the cost of your health insurance premiums will rise as you become older, as well as with inflation. They may also increase if you’ve lately had to file a claim. However, if you’ve made lifestyle changes, like losing weight and quitting smoking, you may be able to receive a lower price. Some consumers discover that merely changing providers lowers their premium as well.

What are the pros and cons of taking out private health insurance?

While it is pretty much an individual’s personal choice, as UK residents get free treatment on the NHS, it is important to take into consideration that there is a reason why people still opt to pay extra for private health insurance.

Pros

People purchase private health insurance for a variety of reasons. However, some of the following primary advantages people to do so are:

  • Reduced waiting: The NHS’s goal wait time for ‘non-urgent’ conditions is 18 weeks; however, as this is merely a target, there might still be delays. You will be seen much more quickly if you have private health insurance.
  • Your situation will not be regarded as ‘non-urgent’: In the event that you are concerned about a symptom or illness that you may have, oftentimes, when you seek assistance from the NHS, your condition is classified as ‘non-urgent’, and you are placed on a waiting list. Coverage prevents such events from occurring.
  • Therapy and referrals from specialists: You can get a second opinion from a specialist and obtain diagnostics and treatments that have been refused to you or are completely inaccessible on the NHS.
  • Consultant and hospital of choice: You can select a hospital from your list of options for treatment, and depending on your coverage, you may be able to select a consultant.
  • Enter a private room: You will be able to acquire private facilities and rooms in most situations.
  • Additional healthcare options: The NHS is not off-limits just because you have private health insurance. You are free to use the NHS as often as you like while also having the option of accessing private treatment when necessary.

Cons

While the advantages outweigh the bad, the cons are still something that you should consider before committing to coverage. Some of these are:

  • Cost: Coverage may be costly, and the cost rises as you age.
  • Long-Term Conditions: Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some diseases are not covered.
  • Existing Conditions: Current medical problems are typically not covered (although you can choose to include them as an ‘add-on’, which might be expensive).

Is private health insurance worth the money?

This is a difficult question to answer since it is highly dependent on your personal circumstances and the significance you place on the available benefits.

Many people purchase private health insurance solely for the purpose of facilitating faster referral services. Private health insurance might also provide you with access to medications and treatments that aren’t accessible through the NHS.

Examining the list of benefits and drawbacks above is the best approach to determine whether private health insurance is an excellent value for money. Consider how much you’d be willing to spend for the perks outlined, then obtain a quote to see how they compare.

Are there alternatives to health insurance?

While private health insurance is by far the most convenient approach to the NHS, you should also consider the following:

1.Healthcare Cash Plans

Although healthcare cash plans (HCPs) are not as popular as private healthcare, many businesses provide them to their employees as a less expensive medical incentive. HCPs essentially allow you to recoup some of the expenses of common services like dental and optical care. However, limits may apply if you have pre-existing diseases, similar to private health insurance. It’s also worth noting that certain health insurance packages may contain extra perks like dental and optical rebates.

2.Self-Insurance

Some consumers will make monthly payments to a savings account rather than paying an insurance provider, as they can then use this money to pay for private medical treatment.

3.Paying for Treatment

You could pay for private medical treatment outright if you can afford it, though this could cost tens of thousands of pounds. As a result, you might need to be picky about when you go private.

For example, if you want an expert or second opinion, you may pay for a private appointment but be sent back to the NHS for treatment if necessary.

Does everyone need private health insurance?

Most of us have insurance to protect our automobiles, houses, and pets. Our health, on the other hand, is equally at risk. Therefore, it is critical that we take steps to safeguard it.

While the NHS performs an excellent job, it cannot be denied that it is under enormous strain, which is reflected in increased wait times. Some statistics to prove that are:

  • At the end of March 2018, 2,755 patients had been waiting for more than 52 weeks to begin treatment after receiving a referral.
  • At the end of March 2018, 3.84 million people were on the waiting list to begin treatment.
  • The median wait time for inpatient treatments in 2017/18 was ten weeks.
  • As of March 2018, around 13% of patients had to wait more than 18 weeks for treatment.

Many patients who are in desperate need of care are forced to wait weeks before being seen.

An 18-week wait for NHS treatment, if you were forced to take time off work owing to a terrible health condition, might put you in significant financial trouble. On the other side, with private healthcare, you may be diagnosed and treated far sooner.

What’s the best health insurance provider?

Now that you have all the information that you need, it is time to examine your alternatives if you’ve determined that private health insurance is worthwhile. Through our website, you can start by reading our health insurance provider evaluations to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of various businesses, then compare policies to pick a suitable plan.

As the best health insurance provider, we can handle everything for you and provide you with free, experienced assistance throughout the route. You may be certain that you have the finest insurance for your needs and that you will be covered if you have a health concern in the future.

Questions? Speak to a real person

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