When seeking private healthcare for the first time, it can be difficult trying to work out which sort of health insurance plan fits you the best. But first it’s important to understand a number of factors which can influence your decision, such as:
- Whether you need it
- Whether or not it’s worth it
- What type of insurance you can get
- Which policy to choose
Do You Need Health Insurance?
Typically, a person would take out health insurance should they fall ill or are injured in the future. Health insurance pays for the private treatment of medical conditions and injuries you’d usually have to pay for due to a number of reasons.
For example: the treatment is unavailable on the NHS, you want immediate treatment (without joining NHS waiting lists), you want the extra comfort/benefits of a private hospital.
Of course, the decision of whether or not you really need it ultimately comes down to you. Access to free healthcare is available through the NHS, however they have seen massive strain due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re happy to proceed regardless of the current massive waiting lists on the NHS, or if you have a chronic condition, private healthcare may not be for you.
Private health insurance policies don’t cover a number of things (treatment for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and childbirth costs, organ transplants, cosmetic procedures, management of chronic conditions), so if any if these apply to you then you may want to reconsider your options.
Is Health Insurance Worth It?
Of course, if you’re happy with the treatment and service found on the NHS then you probably won’t need private treatment. However if you DO want private treatment for your own personal situation, it can definitely be worth the money.
Although each hospital sets their own charges, you can pay an agreed amount monthly to your health insurance company, called a monthly premium. The insurance company then pays out if you need any treatment covers, and paying an agreed monthly amount can help you budget easily rather than paying large unexpected costs should they arise.
What Types of Health Insurance Can You Get?
Individual Policies: these are policies that are taken and out in just one person’s name and can only pay for treatment for that person
Joint Policies: You can cover more than one person on the same policy. This could be cheaper than getting separate health insurance policies
Family Policies: This lets you cover yourself, your partner and your children on one policy. You can pay to cover the whole family with one monthly premium instead of paying for everyone separately.
Children’s Policies: You can either get a standalone policy for your child or add cover for your children to your own health insurance.
Work Out Which Healthcare Policy Suits You Best
Next, it’s important for you to work out which policy works out for you the best – to do this, you need to take a deep evaluation into what your health needs actually are. What illnesses do you want to cover? What types of treatment do you want to cover?
Of course, you will need to consider a number of factors that will affect how much you pay for your private healthcare such as your age, your general health, where you live etc. Please note that pre-existing and/or chronic illnesses aren’t covered by most insurance companies.
Alternatives to Private Healthcare
Of course, private healthcare isn’t going to be the best option for every individual. Before jumping straight in, it’s also very important to weigh up your options and consider whether or not you 100% need private health insurance, or whether or not you fall in the right category.
Although they are under major pressure, the NHS is a fantastic option for most people living in the UK as it is completely free and covers most illness and injury types.
Many people struggle with maintaining seemingly pricey insurance premiums, and although there are ways to cut costs, paying for private healthcare can get expensive in the long run. If you think there may come a time in the future where you may struggle with payments or pricing, it may be worthwhile staying on the NHS.