4 reasons why health insurance is important

A private health insurance policy is not something you would use every single day, but having one in place can give you reassurance when the worst happens. Fully understanding the benefits of why you would need it is not always easy, especially if you are a relatively healthy individual, however we think there are four important reasons why you should consider getting health insurance.

1. Helps you plan ahead

Sudden illnesses or injuries are unpredictable and can cause a lot of stress on both you and your family. With private health insurance you don’t have to rely on the NHS and can access the treatment you need in quickly and at a private facility. For many people and their families, this brings great peace of mind and less anxiety about the future.

Financial confidence

Private medical insurance provides a more manageable way to access private healthcare, which could prove very costly if you pay per treatment. With a health insurance plan, your medical bills are taken care of, partly or entirely, by the health insurance company. This means you don’t have to pay directly when you get private treatment, but instead you pay an affordable premium throughout the duration of your policy.

2. Reduces waiting times

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHS has been under increasing pressure and patients have been experiencing even longer waiting times. With private health insurance, you get quick access to diagnosis and treatment in private facilities, providing the added protection you need in these difficult time.

Good to know

The private healthcare system is not meant to replace the NHS and you might still need to access the NHS services in some cases such as in emergencies, covid infections or for pregnancy and childbirth.

Private health insurance and private hospitals also play a role in supporting the national healthcare system by helping more people get access to healthcare while taking away some of the strain from the NHS.

3. Gives you more control over your healthcare

Health insurance is a flexible product with many insurance companies providing different cover options that you can choose from or even giving you the freedom to ‘pick and choose’ the benefits you want to pay for.

Most basic policies will usually cover your inpatient and day-patient treatment (when you are admitted in a hospital), but you can also opt for a more enhanced policy, to cover you for:

  • Diagnostic tests and scans
  • Outpatient appointments with consultants and specialists
  • Physiotherapy
  • Alternative therapies such as chiropractor treatment, podiatry or homeopathy
  • Mental health
  • Cancer
  • Optical appointments

These are only some of the private health insurance cover options you can usually choose from and they can vary between products and insurers. Talking with your broker will help identify the most important benefits you need and the right health insurance plan for your situation.

Good to know

A health insurance policy will also include a list of treatments and benefits which won’t be covered, making things a bit clearer when it comes to what you can claim for. Here are some common health insurance exclusions:

  • Emergency treatment (A&E)
  • Normal pregnancy and childbirth
  • Long-term, incurable (chronic) conditions
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Cosmetic treatments
  • Rehabilitation after drug or alcohol abuse
  • More choice in how you receive treatment

Getting private treatment through your medical insurance plan also means more flexibility when it comes to:

  • Choosing your hospital and consultant
  • Getting more time to talk to your doctor about your health
  • Getting more time to talk to your doctor about your health
  • Getting second opinions
  • More comfort and convenience

People often choose private healthcare facilities because they provide modern and comfortable private rooms with amenities such as en-suite bathroom and TV. Visiting hours can also be more convenient than in the NHS hospitals, with families and friends often welcomed to visit at any reasonable time of the day.

4. Gives you access to services/treatments not always available through the NHS

The NHS offers free healthcare to UK residents but there are some services they don’t fund or for which they offer limited funding, and this is where your private health insurance policy can help. It may provide access to:

New and expensive drugs

Some new and experimental drugs may not be readily available on the NHS, but they might be available privately. These still have to be clinically approved in order to be covered by your health insurance policy.

Costly and alternative treatments

Some treatments and tests use advanced technologies, and they may be too expensive to be covered by the NHS, but you could get access to these through the private healthcare sector.

Moreover, the NHS doesn’t usually offer complementary and alternative medical therapies. Example of such treatments include acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy and chiropractic, which could be covered by your health insurance.

Virtual services

Many health insurance providers now offer virtual GP services that enable their clients to book appointments and see a private GP virtually, through a phone call or online video consultation. A virtual GP can help with medical advice, prescriptions and referrals and can be a faster alternative to seeing your NHS GP.

Private dental treatment

Dentistry is one of the NHS services which patients have to pay for. The NHS dental charges are low compared to going to a private dentist, but with a health insurance policy you may be able to get a full or partial refund for your private dental treatment including:

Routine check-ups
X-rays
Root canal treatment
Extractions
Dental surgery
Fixed bridges
Fillings
Cleaning and scaling
Good to know

Dental cover usually comes as an optional benefit that can be added to your policy for extra cost. It’s also good to know that most policies have a limit to the dental allowance you can use in a policy year, and you may also be responsible for paying an excess when you claim.

Looking for advice?

Having a health insurance policy can prove to be very useful in today’s post-pandemic environment. It can act as a financial security blanket for individuals and families when the worst happens by giving them access to private healthcare while protecting their finances. If you are looking for personal advice on how health insurance can benefit you, our team of health insurance experts are here to help you.

 

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