Private health insurance offers a number of advantages compared to relying on the NHS. But does it really provide as much value for money as you think? Some private health insurance plans require tens/hundreds of pounds per month! With that much coming out of your pocket, it’s no wonder why people are looking more carefully at the benefits of having it.
Although I’ve discussed private medical health insurance before, I focused on what to look out for when shopping for insurance. I’ve come to realise that people may not even be convinced that private health insurance is necessary! Therefore, I felt that an even more fundamental overview on the whats and the whys was in order.
That’s what this article is about. Let’s jump into it!
What is Private Health Insurance?
Most people get private health insurance on top of their existing coverage because it offers a range of benefits that aren’t available on the NHS. This all comes at the cost of your monthly premiums however. So, what are some of these benefits that you’re paying premiums for?
Shorter waiting times – By paying a premium, you gain access to shorter waiting times and better inpatient facilities at a private clinic.
Better attention from doctors – Ever had the feeling that your doctor just gave you a quick look over, gave you a diagnosis, and wanted you out of their room asap? Public facilities are rife with choc-a-bloc waiting rooms. Doctors simply don’t have the time to give you the care and attention you really need. With private health insurance, you can gain access to doctors that have the time to speak with them and discuss your symptoms.
Keep the doctor that you like – because private clinics are not so “churn and burn”, you’ll be given the opportunity to continue your treatment with the same doctor.
Why Do You Need Health Insurance?
When you’re struck down with an unexpected and debilitating illness, you simply don’t want to be spending your time in a waiting room. With private health insurance, Doctors and consultants can speed up the time of diagnosis and reduce referral times. This can make a huge difference in giving yourself and your family to have the best type of treatment available.
Surely going down the NHS route is not that bad!
Some people on the NHS can wait for up to five months from when they have their consultation to finally getting their treatment. This is far too long!
The issue is being addressed at the moment, but how long will it be before decades old systems and procedures are replaced? If you’re the breadwinner in the family, what happens if you’re incapacitated over a period of time because you didn’t receive treatment soon enough?
Private health insurance in this instance can be crucial.
What are the Types of Health Insurance?
There are several types that you can sign up for, and to list every one in this article would be unduly effortful!
You really have to weight costs against levels of flexibility and coverage. Ask yourself how important it is to be able to choose where you go and who you see.
As with all things, you need to do your research before signing up and consider all the options.
The best place to make comparisons between all this information is by using a website called Gocompare. Gocompare specialises in making comparisons between service – even in health insurance. It can really help you choose the most suitable insurance policy for your situation.
What are the Problems with Private Healthcare?
Okay, we’ve been advocating for private health insurance for the bulk of this article. But beware, there are disadvantages as well.
The biggest disadvantage is that you’re not covered for everything. This can include admission into A&E and other types of chronic illness. You may not get the treatment that you’re after.
Another disadvantage is that you need to pay more to get the flexibility that you need. While this is to be expected, you might find that you’re simply not able to afford a premium that will make private health insurance worth it.
By paying lower prices, you won’t get as much freedom to choose the clinics that you want to go to. It’s also worth noting that the cost of the premium tends to increase with inflation and the rising costs of medical treatment. You may be paying much more this time next year for the same services.
The Takeaway Message:
Buying private healthcare insurance is a good investment if you think you and your family will benefit from it. You’re going to see a doctor and get treatment much faster than relying on the NHS. But, at the same time, you have to be aware of the risks:
Yes, it is expensive.
Yes, you may not be covered for the things that you want.
Getting health insurance isn’t a sure fire thing. Do your research using comparison sites like the one I’ve mentioned above to decide if private health insurance is right for you.