Health insurance provides quick, private healthcare for you and your family when you need it the most, but is it right for you?
Finding cheap health insurance with uSwitch is easy – just call us (0800 862 0360*) with your details and we’ll show you a range of the most comprehensive and affordable health insurance policies.
Health insurance, otherwise known as private health care, or private medical insurance, allows you to receive private medical treatment for a fee. But why should you consider private health care when you can get free health care from the NHS?
Read our guide to learn more about the pros and cons of private health insurance, and if it could be right for you.
How does private health insurance work?
Like most other forms of insurance, you will get to select the level of cover you require, be it comprehensive, or a selection of a few areas.
Depending on your budget, you may wish to add in a few extras such as blood tests and x-rays, pick which hospitals you’d like access to, and how much excess you wish to pay.
Naturally, the more comprehensive your cover, the more expensive your premiums are likely to be. So it’s important to identify how important each area of cover is to you, and whether or not you would prefer to just get it on the NHS.
Health insurance can also provide cover for cancer treatment, including drugs and therapies that may not be approved for use by the NHS.
In a medical emergency you would still use Accident and Emergency but if you have a health insurance policy you can be moved to a private hospital if you require further treatment or for recovery.
The benefits of private health insurance over NHS
The benefits you’ll receive from your private health insurance plan will depend on your level of cover, but in general you’ll be able to:
- Skip NHS waiting lists and receive treatment as and when it’s convenient for you
- Receive fast-track consultations and treatment for short-term medical problems
- Receive private treatment in an NHS or private hospital
Generally, people choose private health care over the NHS because they’ll be able to get appointments faster and more convenient to their schedule.
Getting time to see a specialist after being referred by the GP might also be quicker.
Most private hospitals give patients a private en-suite room with TV, a selection of food and up-to-date technology.
What to check before taking out health insurance
Before you compare medical insurance suppliers it’s important to check the following details:
- The level of excess on the policy (the amount you would pay towards a claim)
- Which hospitals you’re able to be treated in
- The types of patient fees covered
- The kinds of additional benefits that may be included
- Whether any particular illnesses and treatments are not covered
There are usually two types of policies:
a) moratorium underwriting, which won’t cover you for any pre-existing illnesses or any health problems you’ve had in the last 5 years. However, if you suffer no symptoms, seek no medical advice and have no treatment or medication for these pre-existing conditions they can become covered again in the future. This period tends to be 2 years symptom, advice, treatment and medication free.
b) full medical underwriting, where you complete a medical questionnaire and the insurer will give you a definitive answer as to what is covered before your policy begins.
Most insurers will only cover you for new conditions, and treatments that can be administered over the short-term. As a result, long-term illnesses or regular care over a long period such as for a standard pregnancy or cosmetic treatments are less likely to be covered.
If you do have some specific areas of concern with regards to your future health, then check with the insurer whether or not you will be covered for them and to what level.
How to compare health insurance with uSwitch
To compare quotes with uSwitch just provide your details and those of anyone else who you would like included on the policy.
Once you have entered your details you will be able to compare policies from the leading UK insurers including Bupa, Aviva, AXA PPP, Vitality Health, Simplyhealth and many more.
You can compare different levels of cover from policies that cover only diagnostic treatment to comprehensive plans covering cancer and full in-patient and out-patient cover.
If you would like free assistance in choosing the best policy for you why not speak to a health insurance product specialist who can tailor your cover to suit your budget and needs. Speak to a product specialist today on 0800 862 0360*.
Making a health insurance claim
When you suspect you need non-emergency medical treatment visit your local GP who will diagnose any problems you may have. If you need to be referred or require treatment and wish to use your health insurance policy to cover the cost of private healthcare you can arrange to do so.
Once your claim has been confirmed with your insurer you can book your private treatment at a time that is convenient to you. You can then get fast-track treatment at a private hospital so you can recover as soon as possible.
Individual cover or family policy
Health insurance can be purchased on an individual or family basis. As an individual you can protect your health with a policy tailored to your budget and needs.
If you are looking to protect your family, you can combine individual medical insurance policies into one cost-effective policy without reducing the level of cover. With uSwitch you can compare both individual and family health insurance quotes online.