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Home  »  Guide: Health Insurance

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Health Insurance

A comprehensive guide on health insurance

What is health insurance?

Health insurance, commonly referred to as private medical insurance (PMI), allows UK policyholders to access a range of private healthcare services. Different levels of cover are available and often cover everything from diagnostics to treatment.

As a policyholder, you will pay a monthly premium to a policy provider, and in return, when you need healthcare, you can use the insurance to cover the cost.

Although the NHS covers all UK citizens for the majority of their healthcare needs, you might want access to private healthcare treatments, which can be expensive without insurance to cover. With private medical insurance, you can benefit from shorter wait times, faster diagnosis and better facilities.

Health insurance policy coverage can include cover for a wide range of options, including dental, optical, physiotherapy, and doctor/hospital appointments. Depending on the policy you take determines what the insurance will cover.

Health insurance doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stop using the NHS services. It can act as a supplementary service that provides access to treatments and services not fully covered by the NHS.

Working with an Independent Qualified Advisor

Although the agreement is between you and the insurance underwriter, it's often common and beneficial to work with an Independent Qualified Advisor, who will act on your behalf to find the best deal on the market for your circumstance. The advisor will act as a bridge between you and the underwriters, so they will ask you the questions required by the underwriter to generate a quote. The advisor will be rewarded by getting a pay-out from the underwriter, often there would be no cost to you for the use of their service and you get the benefit of their access to the whole market, which won’t be accessible to you without them.
Find out more

What are the main benefits of health insurance?

The potential main benefits of PMI, when compared to the NHS, are

- Faster access to healthcare
- Better treatment environment Not sure about this?
- Better timing of treatment as well as a greater choice of facilities, locations and medical specialists
- Access to private rooms if requested (cover dependent)
- Spread costs - If you are covered and require a lot of treatment at one time,won’t have to pay for it all at once, you’ll just continue to pay our monthly insurance premium and the treatment will be covered by your insurer

Further reading: What is an IFA?

What are the steps to taking out health insurance?

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What are the types of cover you can get?

Health insurance allows you to get cover for various types of treatments, but generally, the different coverage amounts depends on which type of policy you opt for. Policies can range from basic to comprehensive packages. The more comprehensive the policy, the greater the range of services and treatment the policyholder will have access to and be covered for.

Inpatient and Day Treatment

All private health insurance policies will cover the cost of treating conditions where a stay in a hospital bed is required. This includes both overnight and day treatments where no overnight stay is required. These treatments form the basis for all private health insurance policies. More comprehensive policies will offer additional benefits.

Outpatient Care

If you opt for a comprehensive private health care policy, you will have access to a broader range of benefits, including diagnostics. For example, suppose you become unwell, rather than being subject to long wait times through the NHS to be diagnosed and referred to private healthcare for their treatment, your GP is more likely to refer you directly to private healthcare professionals for diagnostics and treatment.

When taking out any insurance policy, it is important to speak to a professional about what cover is available to suit your individual circumstances. Cover will vary between different providers, and an expert in the field will explain which options are best suited to you.

If you want to speak to a professional health insurance professional with access to a range of policy providers, get in touch with this form.

What is covered

The policy provider may let you select what additional health services you want to be covered for, which could include the following:

  •  Dental treatments, including dental accidents
  •  Optical treatments including eye tests, glasses, repairs and surgery
  •  Health screenings
  •  Specialist consultations (including diagnostics and tests)
  •  Wellbeing (physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture)
  •  Complimentary therapies
  •  Chiropody
  •  Hospital in-patient allowance for stays in private and NHS hospitals
  •  Day case allowance
  •  Prescriptions
  •  Access to telephone GP or nurse advice

What isn't covered

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, the policy provider might not cover you. You might also not be able to get cover for the following:

  •  Ongoing incurable diseases
  •  Drug/drink rehabilitation
  •  Treatments you choose to have electively, such as cosmetic surgery
  •  Emergency treatments, as the NHS covers these
  •  Treatments abroad, which should be covered by travel insurance.

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How much does health insurance cost?

The price of health insurance is ultimately dependent on several factors which the policy provider will use to determine the premiums (monthly cost).

Factors taken into consideration will include:
● Age
● You and your family’s medical history
● Your lifestyle
● Desired coverage and benefits

Business (Corporate) health insurance

If you are employed, you might find that your employer offers health insurance as a part of the benefits package you receive for working for the company. It’s likely going to cover some additional health services that may not be covered with the NHS. Your employer should provide you details of this business health insurance when you start working with them.

What if I have health insurance with my employer?

It’s worth checking in with your employer to see what cover – if any – that you may have through them. If there are some areas your employer doesn’t cover, then a personal health insurance plan can act as a good supplement to your company.

How do I get started with taking out health insurance?

We work with a team of professional health insurance advisors who have access to a range of policy providers. This means they can consider your unique circumstances and recommend the right health insurance policy for you.   All our partners are FCA regulated and work with the likes of Aviva, BUPA and other trusted brands in the health insurance market. Unlike a comparison site, our experts will be able to answer all your queries and provide tailored advice.   If you would like to speak to one of our professional advisors about what is available, contact us for more information.

Things to be aware of

  • Your policy might have an excess charge that you should be aware of if you make a claim.
  • You should check exactly what you’re covered for to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises.
  • Some treatments may be better off on the NHS. In some cases, opting for private healthcare might not necessarily be the best option, depending on the treatment required.

Can I get health insurance for my family?

You can take out private health insurance policies for you, your partner and your children if you want your whole family to be covered.

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