Health insurance is a great thing, and lots of people in the UK are now opting to take out private healthcare policies due to the rising demand and pressure on the NHS. However, discussing and going through health insurance options can be daunting and somewhat confusing for patients.
For those that simply would like to know more about how private health insurance in the UK works, and those that may be deciding on which health insurance provider is best, then look no further - GlobMed has everything covered in our own mini Q&A guide!
Explore some of the most frequently asked questions about health insurance in the UK, and the answer you’re looking for will likely be below.
1. What Is Private Medical Insurance?
Private medical insurance in the UK is taken out by many UK citizens, who would prefer to pay an annual cost for their medical needs. Private medical insurance simply means that you won’t need to be put in a waiting queue on the NHS, and you’ll be able to get your health attended to fast through private doctors, hospitals and more. You'll also be able to pay for add-ons, or premiums, which mean you can take advantage of private hospital rooms, choosing your own doctor and even hospital.
2. How Does Private Health Insurance Work?
If you take out a private healthcare insurance plan, this means you’ll be able to cover many medical costs from tests, surgeries to prescriptions (depending on your policy and provider). For example, if you have a consultation with a doctor you can then claim this on your health insurance policy who will then pay this on your behalf for you.
3.How Much Is Private Health Insurance in the UK?
There is no set or average cost for private health insurance in the UK - everyone takes out a different policy to one another, and people pay different premiums depending on their medical and financial needs.
Typically, people pay for private health insurance per month and can expect to pay around £125 to cover most required medical needs. However, there are private health care companies which will provide policies at a lower price per month, as well as companies that provide specific treatments you may be looking for.
4. What Does Private Health Insurance Cover?
Different health insurance plans cover different medical conditions, treatments, appointments etc. Generally, most private health insurance plans cover:
- Treatment in private hospitals
- Access to GPs
- Out-patient care e.g. tests, x-rays, hospital appointments
5. Will My Health Insurance Plan Save Me Money If I’m Healthy?
You might be wondering: is health insurance worth it if I’m usually healthy and well? However, if you have a family then taking out a family plan might be really useful and could help prepare for the unexpected. Likewise, no one can predict if they'll ever be ill, even those that consider themselves relatively healthy, as life can often be unpredictable.
If you and your family’s check-ups at the doctors are usually routine, and consider your annual visits to be the average amount, then it is safe to say you probably won’t use your health insurance plan frequently. Therefore, you could pay close attention to any recurring costs that crop up during your health insurance plan, and could then see if there are any areas you could stop contributing towards to save money.
However, keep in mind that it is impossible to ever fully plan for the unexpected. So, make sure you always factor in the cost of getting care whenever you need it as this is usually what most people do and have health insurance for.
6. Will My Health Insurance Plan Be Affordable If I’m Ill?
If you, or your family, frequently experience unfortunate accidents or infections, or perhaps you’re experiencing a growing prescription list, then it might be wise to ensure your health insurance plan takes this into account. While not covering areas, such as prescriptions, in a health insurance plan might save you some money over the year, doing so might be detrimental to your health, and finances, in the long-run.
Again, illnesses are unexpected and ultimately you’ll want to aim for a good balance between expenses you can plan for (such as ongoing conditions, pregnancy or surgeries you’re awaiting) and the ones you can’t (such as accidents, illnesses and possible diseases).
7. What Will My Potential Health Insurance Plan’s Prescription Drug Coverage Be Like?
It’s not unusual for a lot of people to accidentally skip the prescription drug coverage aspect. Of course, these can add up gradually, so make sure you fully review your plan’s drug/medication list where possible.
The drug/medication list in your health insurance policy document will tell you which specific drugs/medications that are covered and how much they’ll cost – this way, you can better plan your budget for any current drugs you could be taking, as well as any future ones you might need.
8. Are My Doctors Covered in My Health Insurance Plan?
It’s common knowledge that health insurance companies work with an array of different doctors and clinics to help you get the best deals on your care. Getting care from a doctor or clinic your plan covers saves you money – however, going elsewhere may mean that your health insurance plan pays less, which leaves you with the bigger half of the bills. Henceforth, you should always check that the doctors and clinics you visit are covered by the health insurance plan that you’re considering or using.
9. What Is a Pre-Existing Condition in Health Insurance?
A pre-existing condition is one which you had before your health insurance plan began and is an ongoing condition. For example, cancer, mental health conditions, asthma, diabetes and other diseases will be considered pre-existing conditions under most health insurance plans.
10. Can I Be Covered for a Pre-Existing Condition with Private Health Insurance?
Although most health insurance companies across the UK don’t cover for chronic or pre-existing conditions, there are a select few across the UK. For example, some companies will have a list of pre-defined, common conditions that you could include in your policy for an additional premium/price.
11. Do Health Insurance Plans Offer Perks/Benefits?
Health insurance plans aren’t all to do with numbers, medications and coverage – more often than not, there are additional perks and benefits that can either help save money OR stay healthy e.g. % off gym memberships.
12. Is Health Insurance Worth It in the UK?
With there being so many different policies to choose from, it can never be easy to find and pick the ‘perfect’ one.
Health insurance plans aren’t “one size fits all”, you will need to either do your own deep analysis or research or get into contact with the health insurance company you are considering, in order to go through your options and see what suits you best.
Generally speaking, however, health insurance is always a good idea. There are affordable policies available in the UK, and sometimes going private can mean your health is attended to quicker, you’ll skip long waiting times and queues, and be prioritised as a patient.
If you’d like to find out more about private health insurance, then get in touch with GlobMed here who can help you with all your health-related problems.