In the UK, most people rely on the NHS, our state funded healthcare system. When we fall ill, or need some routine treatment, we don’t have to pay at the point of use. Due to increasing demand on the NHS, however, some are choosing to supplement their healthcare with private medical insurance, either through an employer or privately, for a variety of different reasons. The question for most people is whether private health insurance UK is worth having, or is it an extra expense you can live without?
What are the advantages of private health insurance?
- If you are lucky enough to have private healthcare insurance as part of your employee package, it won’t cost you a penny, apart from the insurance excess when you make a claim.
- Waiting lists on the NHS can be very long, particularly in non-serious cases. When you go private, however, you can expect to be given an appointment much sooner.
- Private health care providers normally offer appointments in the evenings and at weekends, which is more convenient when you work long hours or have difficulties taking time off.
- If you need to spend time in hospital, you will often be given your own room and enjoy better facilities, even if you need to stay in an NHS hospital.
What factors affect the cost of private health insurance?
As with many insurance policies, common factors such as age and lifestyle play a part in how much your private health insurance premiums will cost. Basically, the older you are and the unhealthier your lifestyle is, the more you can expect to be paying per month, as you will be considered a higher risk. This does not necessarily mean the premiums will be unaffordable.
Who are the main private health insurance providers?
Although Bupa is arguably one of the best known of the big name companies, there are in fact a large number of private health insurance providers in the UK; you can even buy a private health insurance policy from Tesco Bank! Other big names include PruHealth, Aviva and AXA PPP Healthcare.
What should I consider before taking out private healthcare insurance?
Unless you have free cover provided by your employer, the main thing to consider before looking for a private health insurance policy is whether you really need it: if you are young, healthy, and have no dependents, such insurance is could be an unnecessary expense. It is also worth remembering that many conditions are excluded from private health insurance policies, including pre-existing conditions and psychiatric illness. But if you do feel private health insurance is appropriate for you and your family, our advisors can discuss all your options and provide you with a very competitive no-obligation quote.