Is It Worth Getting Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance is an alternative option to the wonderful NHS service that is offered throughout the UK. The costs for private healthcare providers can often be high and private health insurance is a way to spread these expenses over time.

How does health insurance work?

Private health insurance covers a range of acute conditions but not chronic conditions such as diabetes that you may have for all of your life. If you need treatment for a condition that has come on suddenly then your insurance can cover the cost of getting private treatment which is sometimes thousands of pounds. We must stress at this point that private health insurance does not cover you for a pre-existing condition.

Health insurance works in a similar way to other insurances where you pay a monthly payment (sometimes annually) and you can claim on your insurance if you need treatment. Premiums normally increase annually. Every time you claim, you will need to pay a small excess (this can range from £0 to £500) however the rest of your medical bill will be covered by your insurer.

How much does health insurance cost?

The cost of you health insurance can vary and depends on your insurer, what is covered in your policy, your individual circumstances and your current health. Some people can pay anything between £70 to £150 per month, depending on the factors listed previously.

Some of the factors that can affect the cost of your health insurance include:

Who is covered on your policy (you, your partners, your children),

  • Your age,
  • Your medical history,
  • Your family history,
  • Your lifestyle,
  • Where you live.

Many people are not aware that you can actually reduce the cost of your health insurance. This can be done in a number of ways such as limiting the hospitals and surgeries where you are covered, choosing a higher excess or having a no-claims discount. The cost of your healthcare insurance is likely to increase though, as you age, with inflation or if you had a recent claim. Some people find that simply switching providers can bring down their premium and we can certainly help you with this.

What is typically covered by private health insurance?

UK insurers will offer different plans however the typical areas that they cover are:

  • In-patient treatment (when you stay in hospital)
  • Outpatient treatment (where you don’t need to stay overnight in hospital)
  • Consultation appointments, diagnostic tests, and services like physiotherapy and sometimes psychiatry
  • Home nursing
  • Private ambulance
  • A parent staying in hospital with a child (depending on the policy)
  • Alternative medicine

What is typically not covered by private health insurance?

  • Chronic conditions such as HIV or diabetes,
  • Emergency treatment,
  • Elective treatment such as cosmetic surgery,
  • Treatments such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation services,
  • Treatment abroad such as if it’s an emergency should be covered by your travel insurance,
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Pregnancy care.

Our NHS offers a wonderful health service in the UK so many people feel that they do not need health insurance. However, some people use their health insurance to achieve shorter waiting times compared to the NHS and have more flexibility over their treatments.

To investigate the cost of private health insurance for you and your family, please get in touch.

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