Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance which can also be called private medical insurance (PMI) covers you for the cost of private medical care. In the UK a private health insurance policy will work alongside the NHS, but will allow you access shorter waiting times for treatment, as well as more choice and freedom over when and where you receive treatment.
What is private health insurance?
Private health insurance covers the cost of private healthcare, enabling you to get fast access to medical treatment for acute conditions.
Broken bones, heart attacks and strokes are all examples of acute conditions, which have rapid onset symptoms but can typically be resolved within six months. These are different from long-term, chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes which can rarely be cured.
As the private healthcare sector runs independently of the NHS, this insurance means you will be diagnosed and treated much quicker in a location of your choice. Simply pay a monthly fee and know that you will be covered for any acute conditions that develop once you activate your policy.
Types of health insurance
Whether you want to protect your family, your business or yourself, we can find the policy for you. Choose from any of the private health insurance options below:
Why use private health insurance?
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What can be covered by private health insurance?
Core cover (also known as inpatient or day patient cover) is for medical treatment where you need a bed but are discharged the same day, or you require an overnight stay in hospital.
Some people prefer to take out a ‘core cover only’ plan whereby they are eligible to receive a payout for the treatment itself, but not things like diagnostic tests or consultations.
Private health insurance providers typically offer similar core cover options, though there may sometimes be small differences, such as the NHS cash benefit. This is when the provider pays you for having treatment in an NHS hospital.
This covers the cost of diagnostic tests and consultations where a hospital bed is not required. With private health insurance, you should be seen a lot quicker than you would on the NHS, which has an 18 week target for non-urgent cases. Also bear in mind that this is just a target and isn’t always met.
Private GP Appointments
Many people now find it incredibly hard to get a GP appointment, which is why some private health insurers now offer face-to-face GP access within 24 hours. Video appointments are also becoming more common, so you don’t need to spare much time for a consultation.
Cancer cover gives you access to cutting-edge treatments that aren’t always available on the NHS. It’s advisable to combine this with outpatient cover to ensure you would receive a quick diagnosis when required. A number of private health insurance providers offer full cancer cover as standard, but you can add this to your policy if yours doesn’t.
If you are concerned about NHS wait times, explore private health insurance options
Private Health Insurance FAQ's
Private health insurance is certainly worth it if you want control over when and where you receive medical treatment, something which has become very important to many people as NHS resources become increasingly stretched.
Many factors determine the cost of your private health insurance policy, such as the amount of excess you choose. For this reason, it’s not possible to offer a blanket price. You can see an estimate by getting a free quote with us, and can also find more information in our guide to private health insurance costs.
Private health insurance isn’t intended to cover pre-existing conditions, though some providers will in particular circumstances. Normally this is because the insurer doesn’t believe the issue will return. However, the majority of policies will limit when claims on pre-existing conditions can be made. Read more about this by clicking here.
Common mistakes include focusing on price at the expense of the cover, choosing unsuitable options, and trying to cover a pre-existing condition with immediate effect. Unfortunately, many people also fail to understand the claims process or check whether their provider offers access to their preferred locations and specialists. All these issues can be avoided with the correct advice, which is why we strongly encourage customers to get in touch before committing to a private health insurance policy.
When taking out a private health insurance policy, you can choose a number of additional covers such as dental and optical cover, mental health cover, and travel cover. Appointments with physical therapists can also be included, as can a six-week option which restricts access to private medical treatment if you can receive it through the NHS within six weeks of referral. We will talk you through all these extras when you contact us for private health insurance advice.
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