In the UK, we are fortunate enough to have the National Health Service (NHS), which provides medical treatment and support to everyone without needing health insurance, regardless of their finances. However, whilst providing an invaluable service to those who need it, many people opt for private healthcare—five million people in the UK currently use private healthcare.
There are a number of advantages to private healthcare: no extensive waiting lists, private rooms, and access to procedures and treatments that aren’t available on the NHS. The downside is that private healthcare can be expensive, so it’s advisable to have health insurance to cover the costs of medical treatment.
What to look for
Searching for any insurance can be overwhelming, and health insurance is no different. There are many policies to choose from, so it’s important to distinguish what your main needs are. For example, if you play certain sports where the risk of injury is high, this could increase your need for medical help. If you’ve had a history of illness or surgical procedures and need re-occurring treatment, this could affect your policy as a number of insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Costs and payment plans
It may sound obvious, but you need to consider whether health insurance can fit into your budget as some providers may require you to pay upfront for medical care before being reimbursed. Some people benefit from a company scheme where health insurance is offered to them, so check with your employer if this is an option. Otherwise, the recommended way to ensure you get the best deal is to use an insurance broker, who specialises in the health insurance market. They will be able to provide the widest range of options to choose from, and you can make a decision based on what best suits your individual requirements and financial constraints. A reputable health insurance broker will not charge you for this service as they make money from the insurers themselves.
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What’s not covered
Although there may be exceptions, the majority of private health insurances won’t cover:
• Chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS-related illnesses, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension and related illnesses
• Pregnancy and childbirth costs
• Organ transplant
• Pre-existing medical conditions
• Cosmetic surgery for aesthetic improvements
• Injuries caused by dangerous sports or arising from war or conflict
Read more on Celebrity Angels about the benefits of private healthcare.