Private health insurance covers private health care costs. Like any other insurance, you pay a monthly or annual premium. Then, if you need personal care, your provider will pay some or all of the cost.
Depending on your policy, private health insurance is there to help you when you need it most, from inpatient care to additional support for mental health. You can have private health insurance or co-insurance to protect you and your partner.
Do you need personal health insurance?
Private health insurance gives you options when it comes to treatment. Whether or not you need it depends on your personal preferences and whether you prefer private treatment over publicly funded health care such as the NHS. Here are some reasons to choose private health insurance:
- If you don’t want to wait
If you want to be ahead of the NHS waitlist, private health insurance can help you see faster when it comes to surgical treatment.
- I prefer private hospitals
If you enjoy a quiet environment, personal health insurance can provide you with more privacy and the comforts of home.
- If you need treatment from a specialist
Some treatments, especially specialized surgery for sports-related injuries, are not provided by the NHS. Make sure your health insurance provider covers the care you need in advance
How does health insurance work?
Your private health insurance pays for your own health care or pays for private health care instead of using public health services such as the NHS.
If you think you have a health problem, visit your GP as usual, but let them know you have personal insurance. We will refer you to a specialist if necessary. If you have health insurance, you can choose a private hospital or specialist that the NHS does not provide.
You will then need to tell the insurance company that you want to bill it, and the insurance company will check to see if the insurance policy covers the care you need. If treatment is covered, the insurer will approve the claim, the GP will book an appointment, and the insurer will categorize the cost.
What does private health insurance cover?
How much private health insurance covers depends on the type of policy you choose. Private health insurance can cover:
- exams and appointments
Diagnostic tests, appointments for consultations, and services such as physical therapy and sometimes psychiatry
- inpatient treatment
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, your health insurance may cover inpatient care, such as tests and surgeries.
- outpatient treatment
Some health insurance policies cover outpatient care (such as specialists and consultants).
- other options
More comprehensive policies may include home care, personal ambulance and dental care.
What are the benefits of health insurance?
Individual health insurance may have a variety of benefits depending on the policy. These include:
- Reduce waiting time
You can get treatment and appointments faster than the NHS.
- Choose a doctor or hospital
You can choose a specialist surgeon and choose a hospital, which is not possible with the NHS.
- Expert Recommendation
You can ask your GP to refer you to a specialist or specialist who works personally, so you can get a second opinion or see a specialist.
Private health insurance gives you faster access to physical therapy sessions than NHS treatments.
- private room
Instead of staying in an open ward that can be mixed, you get a private room.
- professional treatment
You may receive specialized care that the NHS does not provide, such as specialized surgery for sports-related injuries.
How much is health insurance?
Health insurance costs are not the same for everyone. Insurance premiums are calculated based on a number of factors, including:
- your age
Age can be an important factor in how health insurance premiums are calculated. As you age, your health deteriorates and your risk of needing health care increases.
- your cover options
Comprehensive health insurance is more expensive than basic insurance, so decide if you need broader coverage to keep costs down.
- your way of life
If you are a smoker, this will affect your insurance premiums as it is considered a higher risk. Reducing your alcohol intake may also help cut costs
- your excess level
The higher the overage, the more you contribute to your health care costs, so your premium will be lower.