Private medical insurance

Keeping your health on track

When life presents you with unforeseen challenges, obtaining a swift diagnosis and treatment, along with genuine assistance, support, and empathy, becomes crucial. Your health and the well-being of your family are your top priorities.

If you or your loved ones encounter concerning symptoms, private medical insurance can provide peace of mind and control during trying times. Private medical or health insurance grants access to private healthcare for conditions that emerge after your policy commences. One of the primary advantages of private medical insurance is the expedited access to medical care.

Even if you can access complimentary NHS services, private medical insurance lets you take charge of when, how, and where you receive treatment. This translates to quicker access to diagnoses, treatments, and aftercare and the luxury of a private en-suite room. In essence, it’s the care you require without the waiting period.

Focus on a speedier recovery
With almost immediate diagnosis and treatment, you can alleviate the stress of uncertainty and concentrate on recuperating faster. As more health professionals anticipate declining patient care and longer waiting times, more individuals opt for private healthcare for additional peace of mind.
If private medical insurance is not part of your employee benefits package and you can afford the premiums, it’s worth the extra investment for increased control over your care.

Flexibility in care quality
While most UK residents are entitled to free healthcare from the NHS, many choose private health insurance to bypass extended NHS waiting periods. Health insurance covers all or a portion of your medical expenses if you opt for private treatment, offering flexibility in the
quality of care you receive and its timing and delivery.

Although private medical insurance is not obligatory, you may struggle to afford private treatment without coverage, particularly for severe conditions.

Private medical insurance may also grant access to the latest medications and treatments approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which are not routinely available through the NHS (outpatient medications are excluded).

What does it cover?
Private medical insurance offers a variety of coverage options, depending on the policy you choose. At its core, basic private medical insurance typically covers in-patient treatments, such as tests and surgeries, as well as day-care surgery procedures.

Some policies may also cover outpatient treatments, including consultations with specialists. Additionally, policies might cover mental health, depression, and sports injuries, although these are not always standard inclusions.

Common coverage features include:
Hospital admission expenses
Diagnostic tests, like MRI and CT scans
Surgical procedures
Consultation fees for specialists
Accommodation and nursing care during hospital stays
Access to cancer drugs, including those not available through the NHS

Additional coverage options might encompass:
Outpatient consultations
Mental health treatment alternatives
Complementary therapies
Physiotherapy and chiropody services

There are two primary types of private medical insurance policies:

Indemnity policies: These policies cover short-term private medical treatment costs for acute illnesses or injuries. Benefits may include a private hospital room, fees for surgeons and specialists, outpatient treatments like physiotherapy, and daycare procedures like surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Cash plan policies: These policies offer a lump-sum benefit payment under specific circumstances. In exchange for a monthly premium, consumers may receive coverage for up to 100% of treatment costs, including inpatient stays at NHS hospitals or dental and optical treatments not covered by indemnity policies.

Indemnity and cash plan policies can offer various supplementary benefits, such as:
Inclusion of spouse and/or children in the coverage
Personalised phone support for individuals with cancer or heart conditions
Health assessments and assistance hotlines for patients
Access to alternative therapies and mental health treatments
Dental and vision care coverage
At-home treatment options for intravenous therapies like chemotherapy

An alternative option is a six-week plan, which provides financial coverage for private medical treatments when the anticipated NHS waiting time exceeds six weeks.

International Private Medical
Insurance (IPMI) offers coverage for expatriates seeking medical treatment while living abroad.

Key advantages of private medical insurance include:
Reduced waiting periods compared to NHS treatment
Enhanced medical facilities
Expedited diagnostic procedures
A variety of private facility options
Flexibility in scheduling appointments and treatments

While the NHS delivers exceptional care, inevitable wait times may occur for all but the most urgent medical emergencies. Many individuals opt for private medical insurance policies to bypass these potential delays in the future.