- What Does Private Medical Insurance Cover?
- What isn’t covered by Private Medical Insurance?
- Do I Need Private Medical Insurance?
- How Much Does Private Medical Insurance Cost?
- How is Private Medical Insurance Underwritten?
What Does Private Medical Insurance Cover?
Private Medical Insurance is designed to cover the cost of treatment for acute conditions (it’s not designed to treat chronic conditions).
An Acute Condition is described as a short-term condition which is curable with treatment. I.e. it has a conclusion or an ‘end-date’.
A Chronic Condition is described a long-term condition which is persistent and cannot be cured. I.e. it has no conclusion and no ‘end-date’.
The most basic of policies only cover inpatient treatment whilst the more comprehensive plans also cover outpatient treatment either in full or up to an agreed limit often usually between £500 and £1,500.
Inpatient Cover covers the cost of treatment where a hospital bed is required, whether overnight or as a day-patient.
Outpatient Cover meets the cost of diagnostic treatment, any consultations and treatment of conditions where a hospital bed is not needed.
Without the inclusion of any Outpatient Cover in your plan, you may need to go through the NHS waiting list for diagnostic testing and initial consultations which can delay you receiving the treatment you need that you could otherwise have got privately if you had selected Outpatient Cover as part of your plan.
Extensive Cancer Cover
Taking out Private Medical Insurance can provide you with access to cutting-edge cancer treatment, including drugs and procedures that aren’t sometimes available on the NHS because the cost is too prohibitive.
Other benefits of Private Medical Insurance including Cancer Care may include:
- The choice of receiving Chemotherapy at home rather than in a hospital or clinical.
- Money to pay for the cost of wigs and prostheses that are required because of cancer treatment and/or surgery.
- Money to pay for scalp cooling, that can reduce hair loss from Chemotherapy treatment.
- Donations to a hospice should you need palliative care.
- Access to a dedicated private nurse to come to your home to check up on you during your treatment.
What isn’t covered by Private Medical Insurance?
The following list are usually not covered by Private Medical Insurance:
- Any Pre-existing Medical Conditions
- All Chronic Conditions
- GP Services
- Emergency Services
- Normal Pregnancy
Do I Need Private Medical Insurance?
Although we are fortunate to have access to the NHS, the system is clearly over-stretched meaning that your access to much-needed care and treatment could be severely delayed when compared to a private facility.
Private healthcare could help you avoid waiting lists for any treatments you are eligible for.
If you are worried about your access to appropriate and timely treatment, then you should consider taking out Private Medical Insurance.
How Much Does Private Medical Insurance Cost?
The cost of your Private Medical Insurance will depend on a variety of factors, including:
Your Age – The older you are, the more risk you pose to an insurer as you will be more likely to require some form of medical treatment. Consequently, the older you are, the more a policy is likely to cost you. Private Medical Insurance rises in cost each year as you get older to take into account the increase in risk and likelihood to claim.
Outpatient Cover – Whether you opt for full outpatient cover, outpatient cover up to a set limit or no outpatient cover at all.
Geographic Location – Where you’re located will have an impact on the cost of your cover. For example, if you live in Central London, near prestigious hospitals, you’re likely to pay more for your cover.
Hospitals/Facilities – The list of hospitals you’re eligible to receive treatment at will affect the cost of your Health Insurance. For example, access to some of the Private London hospitals will command higher premiums.
Excess – Much like car insurance, how much you’re prepared to pay upfront towards the cost of your treatment before the provider is required to take over, has an impact on the cost of your cover.
Policy Options/Additional Extras – Optional extras on your policy, such as dental and optical cover, will increase the cost of your premiums.
How is Private Medical Insurance Underwritten?
One of the most important decisions to make when taking out Private Medical Insurance is the type of medical underwriting you choose.
- Moratorium Underwriting
The most common type of medical underwriting for Private Medical Insurance. Rather than asking about your full medical history, this type of underwriting excludes the pre-existing medical conditions you’ve suffered from recently, usually set as the past 5 years.
- Full Medical Underwriting
A more comprehensive form of underwriting in which you will need to disclose your entire medical history to the provider. Consequently, the provider will apply any exclusions from pre-existing medical conditions at the outset of the policy.
- Which Medical Underwriting Is Best?
A lot depends on your personal circumstances and your state of health at the time of application.
To help you to decide the best option based on your personal circumstances, we recommend that you speak to one of our expert advisers.