Private Medical Insurance: What is it?
Will Private Medical Insurance Cover me?
– In-patient services such as surgery
– Out-patient services like x-rays and tests
– Physiotherapy and other specialist services
There are some important exceptions, however, such as emergency care you’d get from A&E. Maternity care can be paid for but is not usually covered by an insurance policy and neither are chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
Pre-existing medical conditions are also not usually covered by policies, but some high-level schemes will provide cover.
How much is private healthcare?
In the same vein as other insurances, your premium is affected by a range of factors:
Typically, the main factors that will affect premium costs are:
Who’s covered – There are policies to cover just yourself or your entire family. Depending on the circumstances of each person, it may work out cheaper to have one policy or to keep several distinct policies.
Your medical history – As mentioned, private health insurance doesn’t usually cover pre-existing conditions, but any conditions you have may suggest you’re at risk of developing further problems. This is likely to increase your premiums.
Your lifestyle – Lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking, as well as your weight can all affect the price you pay.
Your age – Generally, the older you are, the more likely you are to claim on your insurance, making the premiums more expensive. The same happens with life insurance premiums.
Your family history – Any history of conditions within a family can also affect your premiums.
Where you live – This may seem odd, but some areas of the country are linked to certain medical conditions and others carry a higher price tag for private treatment.
Reducing the cost of health insurance
Priorities – Be sure to match your level of cover to the services you will actually need. Taking certain extras can drastically increase premiums.
Excess – As with other insurances, a higher excess usually results in a lower premium.
Waiting Periods – In some cases, accepting that if you can be seen within a certain period (typically between 4 – 8 weeks), you use the NHS instead, can reduce your premiums.
Stay fit – it seems simple, but quitting smoking, lowering your alcohol intake, and keeping healthy can have major effects on your premiums. Some policies even allow for changes in premiums due whilst they track your health.