With an under-funded and struggling NHS, many people are now are taking out Private Medical Insurance (PMI) and opting for private healthcare, which typically provides better facilities and shorter waiting times to see specialists, and for routine operations.
BUPA are one of the best known private healthcare brands, however there are many providers of Private Medical Insurance with policies that will cover some or all of the costs of private healthcare.
There are many advantages to having PMI:
- Faster diagnosis and treatment
Although waiting times on the NHS have improved to a maximum of 18 weeks between referral and treatment, you won’t have to wait this long for private treatment
You can choose your consultant and where you want to be treated, with the proviso that some policies restrict treatment to set lists of hospitals
- Private rooms
You don’t have to worry about being on a mixed-gender ward and, depending on your policy, you may have an en-suite bathroom
- Unrestricted visiting hours
- Personal care
You won’t be kept waiting for hours to see your consultant and you will have more time to discuss your symptoms or treatment
- Continuity of care
You are likely to be seen by the same consultant throughout your treatment
- Specialist claim team
Your insurer may have a team that deals specifically with a certain type of condition, such as cancer, who can help advise you
There are also certain drawbacks that you should be aware of:
- Not all conditions are covered
It depends on your policy and any previous medical conditions, but most policies only cover short-term illness or injury
- Some appointments and treatments are not covered
Once you’ve got a referral from your GP, you need to call your insurance company to check they will cover the costs before you see the consultant or arrange any treatment
- You get what you pay for
The more cover you want, the higher your premium will be
There are a wide range of PMI policies available and it can be difficult to know which best suits you. Advisers at insurance companies can only discuss their own policies and can’t give you impartial advice on how it compares with others.
As an independent financial adviser (IFA), at Apex CB Financial Planning we can help you to understand the differences between all of the policies available and to help you to find Private Medical Insurance that best suits your needs.
To find out more about Private Medical Insurance, call 01202 622223 or contact us using our online enquiry form.