Private Healthcare: All You Need to Know

Read about the benefits of private healthcare and health insurance, how to switch and what plans are available for you.

What are the benefits of private health compared to healthcare given by the NHS?

Here in the UK, we are proud of the National Health Service (NHS). However, in recent years factors like an ageing population and lack of funding have resulted in longer waiting times, lack of choice and limited treatments. When you have private healthcare it is important to remember that it is not a replacement for emergency treatment.

If you’re unwell, visit your doctor who will refer you to a specialist. Once referred you start what’s called outpatient diagnosis—where you avoid NHS waiting lists and meet with your personal consultant who will arrange the scans and investigations needed to determine your diagnosis and treatment plan. If you need an operation, you’ll be fast tracked to a leading hospital of your choice where you begin the in-patient treatment stage with no risk of cancellations or delayed surgery.

What types of health insurance are available to me?

Health insurance is modular and offers a range of different cover levels at different premium levels. Whether you are looking for single, family or business cover you can tailor the types of treatment covered, what cover level will apply to those treatments, where treatment is provided, and the contribution you might be willing to make to the treatment cost (the excess).

Like all insurance policies, health cover is something that you hope to never use but rather serves as peace of mind. For this reason, it is always best to get impartial advice on which policy is the right fit for you and will offer longevity and affordability.

Will private health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

In some cases, yes! A pre-existing condition is classed as an injury or illness that existed before you took out a health insurance policy. Although they can’t always be covered straight away, there are forms of underwriting available that will cover you for a pre-existing condition once you have gone two years of being sign, symptom and treatment free from the start date of the policy. If you already have health insurance and are looking to change providers an intermediary can arrange for your medical history to be transferred from one insurer to another, with no loss of medical history.

Are there any factors that will affect the cost of my health insurance?

Insurers decide the price of a policy based on several factors; your age, postcode, current state of health, tobacco use and if you are already insured are all variables that can in some instances influence price. The importance of looking at the whole market as opposed to one insurer is that different companies are competitive in different areas.

Is it easy to switch healthcare policies?

When you have health insurance, it is important to review the market every year as insurers will compete to offer you the same or a higher level of cover at a lower price. By using an intermediary to complete a free market review, they can transfer your medical history directly from one insurer to another so that there is no loss of cover. Importantly, they will check your current benefits, policy terms and underwriting position to ensure that everything is offered on a like-by-like basis.

What process do I have to go through to make a claim?

Making a claim is simple and straightforward. Insurers will ask for a referral from your doctor and from that point on you simply call the claims team and request to be treated in a private facility of your choice. If you have been admitted into A&E and need surgery, once stable you will be transported by private ambulance to a private hospital for the rest of your treatment. It is important to stay in contact with your insurer at each stage of your treatment, to ensure that you are covered and keep them up-to-date with any planned or pending treatments.

What happens to my policy if I develop a chronic condition?

A chronic condition is a disease, illness, or injury that has one or more of the following characteristics: it needs long-term monitoring, control or relief of symptoms, it requires rehabilitation, it continues indefinitely and it has no known cure or is likely to come back. Generally, policies will always cover you for the initial consultations, investigations and treatment of a condition—once it has been recognised as chronic your policy won’t usually cover you for treatment for that condition. However, most insurers have now pledged to protect cancer claims with a promise to provide extensive cover and support at every stage with no chronic condition exclusion.

The Health Insurance Specialists has worked hard to create an experienced and highly-trained team that will hand pick only the best policies that we have total trust in. As a company, we pride ourselves on offering the widest choice of policies in the market at an unbeaten price. For a free market review call us on Freephone 0808 10 18 999—quote LIVE 100 to receive One Month Free on any policy taken out*

The Health Insurance Specialists is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*To activate this offer, quote ‘Live100’ when calling. This offer is only available until the 31st March 2018

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