Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance policies are becoming increasingly important in today's world where long waiting lists can mean waiting, sometimes in discomfort, for ever-increasing periods of time to be seen by a specialist consultant.
By purchasing a private health insurance plan, you can bypass the waiting list entirely, and be seen and treated quickly.
Private medical insurance policies often cover treatment for illnesses which are short-term in nature, as well as for those injuries that are curable with the correct treatment or medication. They offer peace of mind that in the event of you or your family becoming ill you will be able to access treatment quickly.
With the majority of policies you will receive private hospital treatment for specific conditions and you will have more flexibility to choose where and when you will have your treatment.
Private health insurance does not always need to be used instead of NHS treatment. You may decided to forgo private treatment if your condition is not serious or not in need of immediate treatment.
Some conditions may not be covered by your particular plan, so it is important to read your policy documents carefully to ensure you are happy with what is and is not covered. However, whether or not your particular condition or treatment is covered, you will still be entitled to NHS care if it is required.
Some private health plans allow you to decide whether or not to be treated privately on a case by case basis. If you opt to be treated by the NHS they may make an equivalent payout to you to cover your time away from work, expenses incurred and so on.
Most private health insurance policies cover both inpatient and overnight hospital stays. Some also cover outpatient treatment - although this particular type of policy can cost more initially. It is advisable to contact your provider to confirm what is and isn't covered before your treatment commences.
You should also check if overseas treatments are covered.
When taking out a private health insurance policy you will be asked to list any pre-existing conditions from which you currently suffer or from which you have suffered in the past. In most cases, you will still be able to purchase a policy but you may need to be currently symptom-free and not have received treatment for the condition for between 2 to 5 years if you wish it to be covered.
Some conditions are not routinely covered by private health plans and these will be listed on your provider's policy.
Before signing any private health insurance policy it is advisable that you read through it carefully to ensure it covers your requirements. If it is unclear or you are simply unsure about anything, then ask for an explanation from your provider or seek advice from an independent source.
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